I got a parking ticket a few weeks ago on Queen Street. It was completely justified. I had not topped up the meter during a brunch with the girls at Swan that went a little longer than expected. Happens everyday.
It got me to thinking. We have such advanced technology, we should have a mobile app you can use to pay for parking in these situations, so you can pay your meter wherever you are, off your cell phone. I was chatting with the girls and enjoying my swan breakfast. Running out the door, back to my car a few blocks down the road, to top my meter (in the middle of a good conversation and leaving my hot coffee behind) was not top of mind. I’m sure the Parking Enforcement Officer was just doing his job as he leaned on my car, drinking a double-double, waiting for the clock to tick down to 12:46pm (when my paid parking was up). He probably already had the fluorescent yellow indestructible ticket ready to print off and was now on twitter taking bets with his fellow Parking Enforcement Officers, if they thought I’d show up. OK, maybe that’s just how I imagine it to be.
It seems there are some Smart Parking Meters out there. IPS Group, Inc has what they claim to be the world’s most advanced single-space parking meter system on the market where you initially pay by credit card but you have the option to enter your phone number and receive a notice when your time runs out on your meter, and the ability to top up your meter over your mobile. So, no runs back to the meter, hoping you don’t have a yellow ticket on your windshield –least not with this innovation. Vancouver’s also testing 300 solar powered single space parking meters and payments can also be made over the phone.
Although Toronto has not caught up to parking meter technology, I have to say I’m still glad we’re not still pumping coins into meters like some places in the burbs.
Hmm, maybe after Toronto adopts the world’s most advance parking meter, the city should take it a step further and launch a loyalty program: if you pay your first 9 parking tickets on time, your 10th ticket should be free! Cause every loyal rule-breaker deserves a break. Sure, that may be over the top. But really…I just miss the days when there was more free parking available! And, I also wish I could tear my fluorescent yellow $30 parking ticket once I’ve paid it off, but they make it so damn indestructible. I can hear the parking enforcement officers all twitter-laughing about that too.