Seattle Parking Meters Swallow Credit Cards
Being able to pay a parking meter with a credit card is convenient–until the meter refuses to give back your card. That is the gamble that drivers in Seattle take these days, with meters swallowing an average of one card every day.
One card per day out of a total of 2,200 meters may not sound bad, but for those who are in a hurry, it’s a nightmare. The Seattle Department of Transportation has three technicians on standby to recover the swallowed cards.
Joseph Vinson, who manages Seattle’s central parking districts, told King 5 News, “This is a top priority for us. As soon as we get a call, we tell the person we’ll be there in 15 minutes.”
As expected, the drivers are usually furious when the technicians arrive. The techs have been trained in how to deescalate the situation and calm the people. They do pay for the person’s parking after the situation is fixed. That may not compensate for the time and hassle, but it is something.
Over the next few years, Seattle has plans to replace its parking meters with ones that will not capture the cards at all. That will get rid of the card-swallowing problem the city is currently facing.