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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why isn't there an EZPass for parking? Turns out, there is

Manchester is adopting something called the EasyPark system, which is the parking-space equivalent of the EZPass automatic toll-paying system, as I learned from a Union-Leader story today. No more searching for coins or going up to a pay-and-display kiosk:

Sold for an initial cost of $29.95, which includes $10 in pre-loaded parking fees, the devices allow parking at facilities in any of the three participating communities. The module is set for the maximum time allowed for a particular spot, and counts off the time used until it is either turned off by its owner or registers a violation flag.

Dover was the first U.S. city to use EasyPark system.

Like EZPass, EasyPark only works in places that are set up to use it, which is darn few at the moment, but hopefully it will spread,

The articles notes a drawback from cities' point of view: "Cities lose the opportunity to profit from double-dipping, when a car with time left on the meter is replaced by a freshly-paying motorist, earning the city double payments."

This is a time to note that "free" parking isn't free for society (i.e., us), so making people pay is actually a good thing.