Knoxville to test new parking meters that accept credit cards

Knoxville to test new parking meters that accept credit cards

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The City of Knoxville is testing out 12 new parking meters along Market Street that will allow drivers to pay by credit card as well as by coin.

City engineers believe the new solar-powered meters will be more reliable than the existing meters, many of which are worn and require frequent maintenance or repair.

By next week, 12 new City of Knoxville parking meters will be installed on Market Street that will give motorists the option of either paying by plugging in coins or swiping a credit card.

If the machines perform well over a three-month period, the city will, in three stages, replace 1,390 parking meters in downtown, the Old City, near World's Fair Park, in the University of Tennessee area and elsewhere.

The 12 parking meters on Market Street will continue to offer short-term parking for up to one hour.

Traffic Engineer Jeff Branham says the switchover means more efficiency and flexibility for his crews.

“The real power will be in the software in the meters,” Branham said. “It gives us great flexibility. For example, we’ll be able to make software adjustments to these meters in the field. Now, we have to bring components back to the shop to be adjusted.

“With credit card payments, we won’t be emptying coin boxes as often. And we’ll have more financial accountability with the new data that’ll be available.”

The new meters will use more energy, but they’ll be solar-powered, and the batteries are projected to last more than two years before requiring replacement. Current more traditional meters require new batteries roughly every six months.

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