Ocean City Installs Credit Card Parking Meters on the Beach
With the slow diminishment of cash in the modern world, many Americans find it difficult to pay for parking in busy cities. In response to this quarter-lacking quandary, Ocean City officials have opted to install parking meters that now accept credit cards as a form of payment. The ordinance won unanimous approval at Thursday’s City Council meeting, and the changes are to go into effect immediately.
The New Jersey town originally launched this platform in a handful of select locations back in 2012. After seeing the success of the credit card option on those meters, the council decided to replace 800 traditional meters in 2013. The city is installing these meters in the most heavily trafficked areas, where tourists and locals are most often in need of parking.
The new parking meters were established alongside new parking fees, which went from $0.25 every 15 minutes to $0.25 every 10. This fee increase is projected to gross an extra $400,000 in the city’s peak season, which will cover the $150,000 the new meters are going to cost. If all goes well, this setup could bring some money back into Ocean City’s economy.
Credit and debit payments will only be available in 30 minute increments. The time limits for each meter will depend on its location, ranging from four to six hours. Meters will still expire like normal if their fees are not paid. The meter will not charge a person’s credit card without authorization.
The rate increase will help offset the costs of accepting credit cards, as Ocean City will have to pay processing fees to Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and other card issuers. Installation of the new meters may take several months to complete, but it may be a sign of what is to come for other tourist cities along the beach.