Pittsburgh unveils parking pay stations to replace meters
Share with others:
Pittsburgh officials say the new parking pay stations opened this afternoon on the North Shore won't be difficult to operate.
But if motorists have questions, "meter-greeters" in neon shirts will be on hand to offer guidance.
A dozen multi-space pay stations -- the first of 560 to be installed in coming months -- were put into service around PNC Park after a balloon-festooned ribbon-cutting.
While the cynics might say there's no reason to celebrate new parking meters, city officials beg to differ. The machines accept credit cards in addition to quarters.
"This is an exciting day in Pittsburgh," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "Gone are the days when people have to carry around bags of quarters to plug our meters."
On the other hand, the machines require motorists to punch in their license plate numbers when purchasing time. Parking enforcement officers will use the so-called pay-by-plate technology to keep track of which vehicles are paid up and which are in violation.
The parking authority paid Cale America about $7.3 million for the 560 pay stations and a seven-year maintenance plan.
The machines will be used to replace 3,000 single-space meters and to create 500 new spaces Downtown and in Oakland, the South Side, the Strip District and Uptown. The machines will be installed by mid September.
As machines are rolled out in each neighborhood, Cale's corps of greeters will be stationed nearby to help motorists adjust.
The 12 machines on the North Side replaced 90 single-space meters, David Onorato, the authority's executive director said. The South Side will be the next neighborhood to receive the new machines, he said.
First Published July 26, 2012 2:28 pm