Parking Meter Bugs Bite


Parking Meter Bugs Bite

Credit card capable meters in Columbus, Ohio, take credit cards but don’t allow credit card users to pay for anything less than two hours, reports The Columbus Dispatch at City workers, especially, have felt the sting of this misguided default. The city is hard at work fixing the problem. So far, reports the Dispatch, the bug has been corrected to allow credit card users to pay for time in increments, except for the first user of the day, who will still be required to pay for two hours.

Initially, meters that started with 2 hours could not be reduced to a lesser amount of time, but the city fixed that part of the glitch this afternoon. The first transaction after the fix still will be stuck at 2 hours, but every one after that should allow users to reduce the time they want to purchase, said Rick Tilton, spokesman for the Department of Public Service. “I know it’s frustrating for people,” he said. “We’re sorry there was any inconvenience.”

I’m not much for computer programming myself, but I imagine 40 pages of code and 5 tiny characters that have to be found and fixed for this problem to go away. I don’t envy anyone that job. Still, you have to wonder how these glitches occur in technology that has been installed and used elsewhere.

Users who want to avoid the problem entirely can just use coins. The 2-hour bug doesn’t affect coins.

Read the article here.

Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Sorry Paul — If you read the quote above with a critical eye you will find that the first transaction AFTER THE FIX gets hit for the two hours and everyone after that is OK.
    Perhaps the city should simply go to all those machines after the fix with a credit card and buy 2 hours. Who would have thought of that.

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