solar-powered parking kiosks

New York installs 50 solar-powered parking kiosks. No more need for loose change.

Binghamton, New York has rolled out its final 50 solar-powered parking kiosks, replacing almost all of downtown’s old meters with electronic, solar-powered kiosks that accept credit and debit cards, coins and $1 bills, five months after Mayor Richard David unveiled a pilot program for the kiosks. Almost all of the roughly 800 old meters will give way to 55 kiosks, each of which covers about a block of parking spaces.

With the solar-powered parking kiosks, drivers pay for a ticket, and put that ticket on the dashboard of their car. Right now, credit and debit card users can only pay the full amount — $1 for two hours of parking — but those using coins can still pay in 30-minute intervals.

“The City of Binghamton can and should be run like a business,” David said, noting the change is expected to bring in about 30 percent more parking revenue, according to city estimates.

Unlike meters, the solar-powered parking kiosks don’t allow drivers to “piggyback,” using the remaining time on another person’s meter in order to avoid paying.

Since being installed in September, the five pilot solar-powered parking kiosks have generated $19,000 in revenue from 22,000 transactions, according to city data. That excludes the revenue generated from any parking tickets on cars using the kiosks.

Data from the solar-powered parking kiosks pilot program show 43 percent of revenue came from coins, 34 percent from credit and debit cards, and 23 percent from dollar bills.

All 50 kiosks will be installed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, weather permitting, David said.

In total, the 55 solar-powered parking kiosks will cost $480,000, an amount set aside as a capital project in the 2016 budget. David said he thinks the increased parking revenue will more than make up for the money spent on the project.

Cities across the country have installed kiosks to increase revenue and ease of use, but until fall, Binghamton’s parking technology remained firmly in the 20th century.

“There’s not a huge learning curve when it comes to this type of technology,” David said.

The mayor announced the final installation project in his State of the City Feb. 27.

For more information on solar-powered parking kiosks, contact Alps Kiosks, by visiting: http://alpskiosks.com/automated-retail-kiosks-vending-solutions