City Government

Big Brother Bieter’s Meters Monitored

Inquiring minds have asked the GUARDIAN about credit card security on the new parking meters being tested in the downtown area–thank goodness they haven’t put them on the Bench yet!


Our sources tell us the credit card is swiped and the info goes via radio signal–like a cell phone–from each meter to a bank processing center as the card is swiped. The new meters being tested count backwards for the free 20 minutes which causes some confusion among motorists. The technology is similar to those devices carried by the rental car attendants in large city airports where they print a receipt in the lot upon return.

We hear the “multi space” parking vendor machines tested previously at City Hall didn’t pass the public acceptance test. Folks just weren’t ready to go to the kiosk and return to their vehicle and display the receipt on the dash.

Some even newer machines will soon be tested in the BoDo area that will cover multi car spaces. These solar powered devices will rent individual spaces by the numbers–like some of the private lots downtown. Instead of a meter maid (or butler) being forced to check the spots or look for dash displays, they will have a hand held “app” that will tell them which spaces are expired. Those machines could be more profitable for the city because they eliminate the need for individual meters and allow those friendly meter monitor people to make a single stop without checking an entire block.

If we can just get an “app” to track a GPS on the bicycles peddled by the meter monitors and sound an alert, it could save everyone some cash (or credit card) money.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Question: Did they unload a couple of meter maids? Why not??

  2. Truth is your credit card numbers and other personal information is never safe, regardless of how the data is transmitted. The credit card and communications companies will tell you all the neat technical info about data encryption, split feed information, and all the other precuations that make their data absolutley secure. Then, as it always occurs, you hear about or expereince another data breach, and the company or government agency who kept your info (student loans, college financial aid, etc)sends you a letter telling you to use your free credit reports to look for fraud.

    I have a very smart method to prevent credit card fraud for me, I just keep all my credirt cards at the maximum balance and only ever pay the minimum monthly payment. That way if my card or card info is stolen, the theif will only get a couple hundred bucks!

  3. A co-worker tried to use one while at the post office today. The free 20 min. would not work for her. She called them and they knew there where some issues. She asked if they were writing tickets and the Boise lady did not know.

    New technology is always going to take some time to get used to. I just wanna know, if I can pay with my smartphone like at McDonalds.

  4. Won’t work very well for handicapped either! Especially ones you have to walk a block to pay!

  5. Brat1 – the central station meters are most cost effective and efficient. They also make sense.

    As for the handicap issue, most cities that implement that parking system also stipulate that those with handicap tags do not have to pay for parking.

  6. No matter what kind of meters are used, they still serve as “Stop briefly, spend some money, and then get the hell out of our town. If you want to shop leisurely, eat in restaurants, see a movie or something like that, go to The Mall or a strip mall or drive to Eagle or Emmett or someplace else — we don’t want you here!” signs.

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