Parking services to install high tech meter machine

Carolyn Fertig

Department may decide to order more based on its success

Parking Services will soon have a solution for students who forget money for the parking meter.

The department will spend $15,000 to install a new pay and display machine in the lot next to the Michael Schwartz Center in June.

The cost includes asphalt, proper lighting, wiring and shelter for the machine. The department will decide whether to install more of these high-tech meter machines based on the performance of this first machine.

This machine will be replacing the 38 parking meters in the lot next to the Michael Schwartz building.

The machine not only takes coins and bills, but also credit cards for those who don’t have change, Parking Services manager Larry Emling said.

The machine’s concept is simple. A person can use coins, bills or a credit card to pay for up to two hours of parking. The machine prints out a stub, which then should get placed on the dashboard, Emling said.

The Ice Arena has an older version of this machine that only takes coins, and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center lot has one that only takes bills. This new machine combines that all together, plus credit cards, Emling said.

Parking Services has been debating whether to buy one of these machines for about two years. It has been watching other universities and colleges that use them.

Ohio State has bought 23 pay and display machines in the last two years, which have been quite successful, Emling said.

Cuyahoga Community College bought nine last year to use at all three of its campuses, said Lt. Terence Calloway of Tri-C Public Safety.

The machines allow people who do not own a parking pass a chance to park without getting a parking ticket, Calloway said.

“It is very convenient for people,” he said. “It is visually appealing and a good tool. It has worked out very well for us and our campuses.”

Emling said the department is examining the possibility of installing the machines throughout campus in place of older parking meters.

“Though we are only buying one this year,” Emling said, “there is a large possibility for more if this one works out. Then we can take out meters and replace them with these pay and display machines.”

Contact transportation reporter Carolyn Fertig at [email protected].