Bradenton, Florida -- City officials are considering new high-tech parking meters that promise to make paying to park easier and even help drivers from getting a parking ticket.
Instead of driving around downtown looking for a space, the garage may be a good option if motorists are willing to pay to park. Michael Lang is willing to pay he's downtown regularly. "The car is undercover it's relatively secure and safe that's fine that's all I need."
Lang now pays 25 cents for each half-hour but the rate may spike to a dollar an hour once the city puts in new parking meters by Oct. 1.
"That's nonsense far too much not be worth it to me I'd find alternative parking," Lang says.
Officials say it's time to replace the 9-year-old pay stations because only two out of four of the meters work anymore.
"Mechanical beginning to fail due to age not as convenient," said Tim McCann, Brandenton public information officer.
The city is considering digital pay stations that accept cash, coins, credit cards, debit cards even coupons.
"More convenient, user friendly, it has a big screen with prompts in various languages," McCann said.
Here's a feature the new meters would have drivers can appreciate. When paying by credit card or debit card motorists simply punch in their cell phone number. When the time starts running out, the meter will text the driver. The drivers then can expand on the amount of time needed by simply texting back.
A parking ticket in Bradenton costs around $25. "Nobody wants a ticket," Victoria Bouziane said.
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The higher parking rate would cover the 30-cent surcharge credit card companies charge the city for each transaction.
"Using debit cards are good a lot of people don't carry cash with them. But raising rates, that's the down side of that," said Bouziane.
The parking fees would help cover maintenance for the parking garage.
The two new pay stations cost $30,000 and that money has been budgeted, but the city council still needs to vote on how much it will cost for drivers to park.
New parking meters coming to Bradenton and the change might increase the parkign fees.