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The Baltimore Chop

One thing to keep in mind is that the overwhelming majority of parking revenue comes from fines, not from meters.

That said, the city LOVES EZ park meters because they generate much more revenue than traditional meters. People are much more likely to overpay an EZ park meter, and that overpayment can't simply be used by the next car in the space.

I think your estimate of $5500 annually for 2 Zipcars is way over the mark. That said, any revenue is more than $0, which is what Zipcar spaces generate.

I'm glad Zipcars are here, but parking spaces are a community resource, and giving away the best of them to a corporation for free is not the best way to serve the community.

jfruh

Don't know about the other aspects, but I disagree that EZ-Meters create "more work" for the parker. The mild inconvenience of having to walk 10 feet back to my car or whatever is easily offset by the massive conveninece of not having to worry about whether or not I have enough coins of whatever denomination a traditional meter requires (and it seems that the meters in different neighborhoods all take different denominations of coins). I'd be willing to bet that the number of people who have coins but no credit cards on hand when they park is much lower than the number of people with credit cards and no coins. (And of course you can use coins in the new machines if you really want to.)

Benn

Chop: I'm not talking "overwhelming" revenue, I'm talking ANY revenue. As in the city can use every dime it gets. And according to the Mayor's own budget projections, which I did link to, we're talking millions of dollars when it comes to meter revenue.

I know the city loves the EZ Parks. As the president of the HVMA, I am all too familiar with the rationale they used to sell neighborhoods on it. I am very curious how the EZ Meters work. Who got that contract? How much is it? Does it exclude the city from installing new traditional meters? Etc. Hearing how other counties have mismanaged their stop light camera contracts (I think it's Baltimore County where it's actually costing them money), for example, I'm interested in seeing how much of the revenue actually goes back to the city as compared to the steelhead meters.

As for my estimates, I acknowledge I may be off. That's why I showed my math, so to speak. It's an estimate. Which is more than I could find from any other city source. In some neighborhoods, for example, the hourly rate is, as I said, $2 not $1. In some city neighborhoods, the meters are longer than 8-5. In some areas, the meters also run on Sundays. And yes, obviously, not every meter space will be occupied and paid for at all times by vehicles. If there is a better source for this information, I'm all ears.

jfruh - As a consumer, I would argue that the inconvenience of having to return to my vehicle far outweighs using a card to pay for parking. But you make a fair point about paying with a card.

I guess I could argue that that convenience is also offset by the meters inability to accept bills.

I should also hasten to note that by accepting cards, the machines are also siphoning off additional revenue from the city to give directly to banks (every time you use a card, the bank gets a percentage taste of it paid for by the vendor). So that means the city is generating even less revenue off the same dollar, but with cash, the banks are not making $ off it. But I guess they could use the revenue more than the city could.

Ha, kidding! I kid.

Incunabulum

I'm with jfruh - the EZ Meters are way more convenient for consumers. You think it takes long to walk to the box and back to your car? Try going to 7-11 so that you can get cash and then buy something so that you have change. Now that's an inconvenience!

I've actually been thinking the city should permit exempt more residents from the meters. Sometimes it's very difficult to find parking on my street. And, as a resident, I spend more in my neighborhood in one week than most visitors will in a year. And that's just at one establishment. It sucks that I sometimes have to feed a meter to park at my own house.

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