By STACIE FANELLI
The old coin–and-Smart Card-activated meters will be covered with a red bag instructing people to go to the nearest pay station, said Parking Director Gary Watson.
The new machines will accept Smart Cards, debit and credit cards, one-dollar bills and all coins except pennies. Credit card can “feed the meter” from anywhere via cellphone.
Lots affected are White Street, English Plaza, North Maple Avenue (Maple Cove), Marine Park, as well as Union Street and Wharf Avenue. The East Side lots are to be equipped with the pay stations at a future date, officials have said.
Convenient though they are, there are some downsides, several drivers said Friday. Most often cited were the distances between numbered parking spaces and centralized pay stations, the machines’ inability to give change and the elimination of “free time” the bonus minutes left on a meter from the person parked there previously.
Because parkers won’t be able to take advantage of others’ unused time, Red Bank will see a profit, noted Adam Cousins, who said that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But Cousins was leery of the technology.
“Sometimes, they don’t work properly and keep needing to be fixed,” he said, referencing tickets he has gotten in other towns after a machine ate his money and he was left without a payment slip.
The system’s manufacturer boasts that towns using the technology can seen an 80-percent increase in parking revenue.
The kiosks also reduce the number of trips borough parking enforcement employees will need to make through the lots writing tickets
Parking rates are unchanged: 50 cents per hour (as opposed to $1 per hour at curbside meters). Enforcement hours remain 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
No date or deadline has been set for the removal of the decades-old parking meters, said Watson.
For answers to questions about the system, contact the Red Bank Parking Utility at 732-345-8135.
redbankgreen summer intern Connor Soltas contributed to this article.