May 2, 2012 10:00 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Downtown San Luis Obispo credit card meters brings revenue to city

Parking in downtown San Luis Obispo has become a little easier thanks to some credit card meters installed mid-March. Those 400 meters are bringing in more money to the city.

The soloar-powered meters were put in because the city decided to raise parking from a $1.25 to $1.50 in the heart of downtown.

They wanted to make it more convenient so they installed credit card meters, which replaced some old ones.

The city said in April, the meters took in 70% cash, and only 30% in credit.

"Having my card is just a little more convenient," said Lori Herride of Morro Bay. And, that's one of the reasons the city installed these meters.

"People come from all over here and they're used to using credit cards, so it's really makes it a lot easier than carrying $3.00 worth of change in your pocket," said Peggy Mandeville, principal transportation planner for the City of San Luis Obispo.

Lori Herride paid with change Wednesday because she forgot her debit card at home. One problem she has with the machine is they're too high.

"It was my first time using it and the sun was hitting on it, and I didn't have my reading glasses on, so I couldn't really tell what I was doing," said Herride.

A week after the meters were installed, the city got a few complaints on the height; so, they lowered each one about 4 inches. Also, the fact that there's no receipts given when you're about to drive away bothers some, like Randy Estoesta, who works downtown.

"If there was a problem with the parking meters and if I were to appeal to it, then um, it would be difficult," said Estoesta of San Luis Obispo.

The money from the meters goes back to the parking department, like maintenance and future parking projects.

The city said less parking tickets have been given out since the new meters were installed.


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