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No small change for parking meter renewal

31 January 2006

Struggling to find change for parking meters could be a thing of the past with the new parking meters the Christchurch City Council is planning to introduce.

“Advanced technology means there are pay and display meters available which will accept payment by popping in a coin, swiping a card or by cell phone texting giving customers greater flexibility in how they can pay for their parking,” says Council’s Transport & City Streets Unit Manager, Don Munro.

The replacement of the city’s parking meters is scheduled over the next six years. However, approval is being sought from Council on Thursday to bring forward the replacement because of the imminent change in coinage. Any new system would be compatible with the new 10, 20 and 50 cent coins proposed for introduction in July.

The Council is seeking proposals for the supply, delivery and installation of new pay and display parking meters.

 “We are asking suppliers to respond with meters utilising the various payment options. This generation of machine is operating in other cities around the country, but until we receive and assess the proposals we won’t know the exact operating details,” Mr Munro says.

However, the new meters would produce a receipt for display on dashboards which can act as proof of purchase or expenditure for businesses. 

The system would also provides on-line fault diagnosis which means any machine requiring attention can be identified and repaired within about an hour, reducing the time parking spaces are unavailable for use.

Each of the new meters would cover several parking spaces reducing the number of parking meters on the street from 1700 to between 350 and 400.

The proposals, which are required by 22 February, will be evaluated and a preferred proposal identified with the aim of awarding a contract in March.

Subject to approval to bring forward the replacement schedule, installation of the meters would be expected to occur prior to the introduction of the new coinage.

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