Meters “Steal” Parking Time and good Karma


Meters “Steal” Parking Time and good Karma

That’s the headline. Read the story. The idea is that when someone leaves a parking space and there is time on the meter, you should be able to use the other person’s time. It may seem fair, but I don’t think so.

Let’s see if there is something anoligus. What if you bought a ticket for New York from LA on a plane that stopped in Denver.  You decided that you wanted to get off in Denver.  Does this mean that the airline should let someone ride free to New York? 

When you contracted for the space with the city (by placing money in the meter) you told the city that YOU were going to park a car in that space for a time no longer than the time you paid for. You didn’t say that you would sublet the space to someone else. If you decided to leave early, so be it. The next person starts an entirely new contract.

It works that way in off street parking. If you are in a garage for 21 minutes, you pay for 30. That doesn’t mean that someone else gets 9 minutes free. On street is no different

Our buddies at Intellipark have a feature that resets the meter when you pull out.  The Washington Post thinks that’s Theft. The city manager of Pacific Grove thinks it costs you your Karma.

What next…


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Hmm, but is it right that the city get the 9 extra minutes you paid for? Shouldn’t you get your money back and pay only for what you use? Phone calls are billed only for the time you actually spend on the phone, as are parking spaces in some garages with fairly fine time increments. Overcharging customers by either rounding up to large time increments, or preventing customers from obtaining refunds for overpayments, treats your customers poorly – if they have an option to park elsewhere, when they can pay fairly for their parking, they may shift their patronage. Any enterprise that fundamentally makes money by systematically overcharging its customers will eventually face both unhappy customers and a competitor who treats customers fairly.

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