Are People Liking Burlington’s New Smart Meters?

When a Burlington Resident tweeted a complaint about the Queen City’s smart parking meters breaking constantly down, Local 22/Local 44 investigated how consumers feel about the hi-tech equipment.

“I often use these meters specifically because i don’t have cash on me, so having the credit card function makes it incredibly easy to just swipe and go,” says Courtney Keller, who frequents downtown Burlington.

It has been a year and a half since 300 smart meters were installed in downtown Burlington.

“Let’s face it, going from a mechanical meter to something that’s cellular enabled and has a lot of functionality is more complex, but by and large, the public is really enjoying the multiple ways of paying,” says Burlington’s Director of Public Works Chapin Spencer.

Spencer says with new technology comes kinks to be worked out, as expected.

“Some were too high, there had been a few issues with credit cards not coming out easily on some, the back-lights weren’t working properly on some, but those issues have largely been resolved,” says Spencer.

The city partnered with the University of Vermont four months ago to also roll out a new pay-by-cell phone app.

“Park Mobile gives you updates, you’ve got 15 minutes until your parking meter expires do you want to extend, it really is such a convenient option for us,” says UVM Director of Transportation Jim Barr.  “Our hopes were that people who are coming to visit our city and our university are using the same app in their hometowns.”

Spencer says the app now generates 10% of all parking meter transactions.  It is free, but users are charged 35 cents per use.

Spencer adds Sunday pay is a future option for Burlington, meaning weekday rates would decrease.

via Are People Liking Burlington’s New Smart Meters?.