Home | Stories | Reviews | TreoCast | Treo Store | Accessories | Software | Discussion at webOS Nation | Mobile | About | Search
treocentral.com >> Stories >> Commentary
Change Comes to Parking

Mon Nov 17, 2008 - 10:00 AM EST - By Jay Gross

The Cell Phone Age is making it easier to park your car, at least in downtown Decatur, Georgia. Look for the technology to take hold in other places, too, before you can shake a stick at a no-armed bandit.

The newest thrill in those bandits, also known as parking meters, has been installed on 50 of Decatur's none-too-plentiful parking spaces so far. Parking goes high-tech. Dial the number that's printed on the meter and buy time. Simple! ItÂ’s one of the country's first pay-by-phone parking systems, but the aim is not so much to obviate mad dashes and chewing gum purchases in search of quarters. The system is really designed to encourage more parking place turnover and, of course, to rake in more money for the Atlanta burb's coffers.

Decatur also uses an automated system that detects whether a car has moved, preventing drivers from feeding the meter when the time's up. It also radios the city's meter maids ("parking attendants" is the current euphemism) when meters expire and points them toward drivers who park without paying. Mean!

With the pay-by-cell system, inaugurated this month, drivers call a local phone number and enter the parking space number. On the first call, the system sends them a text message inviting them to a Web site, from which I lifted the accompanying picture, to create an account (credit card required). After that, drivers can just call the number each time and draw against their balance to keep the meter maids at bay. The service costs the users a quarter extra - "transaction fee."

The meters cost the city about $200 apiece. Each one has a radio that transmits data and sensors that detect parked cars. The things also accept old-tech coins.

Treo accessory store
> Print this page
> Digg!


Copyright 1999-2016 TreoCentral. All rights reserved : Terms of Use : Privacy Policy

TREO and TreoCentral are trademarks or registered trademarks of palm, Inc. in the United States and other countries;
the TreoCentral mark and domain name are used under license from palm, Inc.
The views expressed on this website are solely those of the proprietor, or
contributors to the site, and do not necessarily reflect the views of palm, Inc.
Read Merciful by Casey Adolfsson