By Margie Plunkett
Don’t like to carry change? Beach-goers in Delray Beach will soon have a new option to pay for parking in several area lots and on A1A: a smart card.
The smart card — as well as credit cards and change — can be used in the $148,303 parking system that was newly installed and operating in beach-area parking lots as of June 26. The city hopes to make the smart cards available in August.
The new Pay-N-Display system meters multiple spaces from 14 machines in parking lots on the west side of Ocean Boulevard, including Atlantic Dunes, Anchor Park and Sandoway Park parking lots, according to City Engineer Randal L. Krejcarek. After parking has been paid for, the meters dispense receipts that are put inside the car on the driver’s side corner of the dashboard. Receipts show when time paid for starts and ends. The Pay-N-Display meters replace single meters in beach-area lots, Krejcarek said. One of the benefits of the new system is that it eliminates tickets written in error because the patron entered the wrong parking space number in the machine.
Visa and MasterCard credit cards can be used to pay for parking, as well as exact change in coins; the machines do not accept paper money.
The smart card option is brand new to Delray Beach. Parkers will be able to get credit-card sized smart cards that are loaded with $5, to pay for parking on the new system as well as single meters on A1A. The cards can be replenished at some of the multi-space meters, City Hall or the Visitors Center at Atlantic Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.
The smart card is used like a credit card to pay for time in the multi-space meters, which deduct payment from the card and then tell the parker how much money is left on the card. The meter prompts the resident on what to do. To pay on a single meter, the resident inserts the card into a slot on the meter, and the card automatically starts paying the meter in increments of 25 cents. When the resident reaches the time desired, the card is pulled out of the meter.
The single meters are being modified to accept the smart cards.
The meter will let residents pay only for parking that is allowed in the space. If the space allows parking for two hours, for instance, the meter will deduct no more than two hours of time from the card.