Multi-Space Parking Meters Operating on Newbury Street
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For Immediate Release
October 19, 2006
Released By:
Transportation
For More Information Contact:
Tracey Ganiatsos
Tracey.Ganiatsos@ci.boston.ma.us

The City of Boston today activated 23 multi-space, solar-powered parking meters on a four block span of Newbury Street, between Arlington and Exeter Streets in the Back Bay. This is the first time that Boston has purchased parking meters that accept credit and debit cards, one dollar bills and one dollar coins in addition to quarters. The meters replace 163 electronic, single space meters that will be used elsewhere in the city.

To ensure that the meters are being used properly, Parking Enforcement Officers will circulate on Newbury Street over the next several days distributing printed instructions, offering assistance and answering questions about the new meters. Officers are also visiting Newbury Street businesses to provide printed material and the Boston Transportation Department is supplying brochures to neighborhood community groups.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said "I am proud that Boston is taking this step toward replacing equipment used in our everyday operations with up-to-date technology. The new meters are both customer friendly and technically advanced, and I expect that they will improve the city's parking process in the Back Bay considerably."

The multi-space meters were purchased from Parkeon, Inc., an international company with U.S. offices in Moorestown, New Jersey. The Boston Transportation Department chose Parkeon's product after a lengthy review process by a selection committee representing various city departments. In addition, BTD conducted an in-depth pilot program conducted in late 2003/early 2004 that entailed testing two types of multi-space parking meters at selected locations downtown.

The model of Parkeon meter purchased by the City of Boston is known as the Strada BNA. Twenty-five meters were purchased, two of which will be put aside to be used as replacements. The Strada BNA is a pay and display type meter, referring to the receipt dispensed by the meter that must be affixed to the inside of the vehicle's curbside window to prove that payment has been made. It is a newly designed model of meter that has also recently been purchased by parking authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Miami, Florida, and is currently being tested in Atlanta, Georgia and Seattle, Washington. The Strada BNA offers a number of attributes of interest to the City of Boston.

Payment Options - Providing payment options improves customer service by making on-street parking in Boston more convenient for drivers. Quarters, one dollar bills, one-dollar coins, and credit and debit cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo, will be accepted for payment. Credit/debit payments will be processed and authorized on-line and in real-time for security purposes. Furthermore, the credit/debit option will help to streamline the collection process for the BTD, which last year collected $10M in quarters.

Multi-Lingual Capability - Boston prides itself on being a multi-cultural city where over 140 different languages are spoken and 25% of our residents are foreign born, and where 12 million tourists visit each year. To accommodate this population, the city's new meters can be programmed to provide payment instructions in several different languages. Drivers parking on Newbury Street can receive instructions in English, Spanish or French. If additional meters are purchased in the future and placed in other neighborhoods, the secondary languages will be changed to reflect the culture of that particular area.

Wireless Communication - Wireless communication will inform BTD of a problem with any particular meter, such as, if the machine is running low on paper for receipts or if there is a jam in the coin slot. This will allow staff to service the meters quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, unlike the electronic meters that may be put out of service if the coin slot is jammed, the multi-space meters will continue operating if one of the three payment options is out of service.

Anti-Vandalism Features - The exterior of the meter is finished with an anti-graffiti coating to allow for easy clean-up. Also, the door of the meter is outfitted with an alarm designed to notify the city immediately if the meter is opened at an unauthorized time.

Boston Transportation Department Commissioner Thomas J. Tinlin said, "Throughout this process, we have worked to ensure that the meters we chose fit the specific needs of the City of Boston. As a result, we do not expect to experience with these new meters the same few persistent problems that we have encountered with our electronic meters, specifically vandalism, service issues and payment restrictions."

Meg Mainzer-Cohen, President of the Back Bay Association said, "These new meters will be customer friendly and will enable Back Bay visitors to park more easily without having to fish for quarters. Mayor Menino and the Boston Transportation Department should be lauded for this innovative addition to the neighborhood."

Multi-Space Meter Brochure
Letter to Newbury Street Businesses

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