St. Louis residents may soon use plastic to park

May 18, 2013 by  

Addressing an increasingly cashless society, St. Louis, Missouri, is going to make it simpler to park and pay with plastic.

A test of the efficiency and effectiveness of parking meters that accept credit cards began on Friday, May 10, at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Maryland Plaza in the city’s Central West End, with the installation of 60 new meters that will accept credit cards. The meters, which are solar powered, will also take coins. If the test at this location is successful, they may be installed throughout the city within the next six months.

The idea is in response to the reduction in the number of people carrying cash, preferring to use debit and credit cards and, in some cases, use applications on their phones to make payments. Forcing people to use cash means they have to always be aware of where they are going and whether or not they need coins or bills, so it is hoped that this method can save time and inconvience.

The city’s treasurer, Tishaura Jones, says the slogan for the meters is ‘No Change, No Problem’, and adds there is currently no fee for using a credit card to pay parking charges. The first reviews about the new meters have been positive. Chicago uses credit card meters, as does Clayton, Missouri, eight miles from St. Louis.

To explain how the meters work, city officials could work with poster printing experts to create displays that show patrons how to use their cards to pay for parking.