Meters Will Stand as Long as We Carry Cash

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Meters Will Stand as Long as We Carry Cash

I couldn’t help add my two cents to the discussion about the end of the parking meter. All the technology for this transition is available, but a huge component in the parking process isn’t ready for the shift: the municipal government and the user.

According to global.handelsblatt.com, the end of cash is closer than the end of the meter. The website reports that Sweden is at the head of the cashless society movement in Europe, with well-known former-ABBA band member Björn Ulvaeus championing the cause by going an entire year without using cash. Just about the entire country is set up for cashless living.

“We prefer credit cards” is written in large letters on signs in many Swedish supermarkets. The Stockholm Public Transportation Company no longer accepts cash payments, and even newspapers or a few bread rolls can be paid for with debit or credit cards or by mobile phone. And parking meters were switched to a cashless payment system a few years ago.

Read the article here.

It would be easy to expect the fall of the parking meter in a place where pretty much everyone expects to pay electronically. But I think credit card capabilities will keep the meter from reaching obsolescence for a long time even if people stop using cash. It’s only when mobile phone payments become the norm that machinery for accepting parking payments can be eliminated all together.

In the United States, our emphasis on state and local governments will also lengthen the life of the parking meter. It might be easy to implement a country-wide parking policy in Sweden, but it won’t be simple here. I can see a state like California or New York going cashless years ahead of other states. While they are tearing out meters, places like Phoenix, Ariz. will still be installing them. They’re installing new meters in Phoenix just this month, reports downtowndevil.com.

The 180 parking meters were requested by both Roosevelt Row Merchants Association and the Evans-Churchill Neighborhood Association through their commissioned non-governmental parking committee.The 180 parking meters were requested by both Roosevelt Row Merchants Association and the Evans-Churchill Neighborhood Association through their commissioned non-governmental parking committee.

I’m not against a cashless society or mobile-phone payments, but I think it’s most realistic to expect these changes to come about when the Millenial generation reaches middle age. Those who are used to carrying cash will want to do so for many years to come. And they will all need to park and have a way to pay for their parking.

Read the article here.

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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