Parking on and around the University of Arizona could undergo a facelift in the new year with the installation of new smart parking meters in the greater Tucson area.
According to a report from local ABC affiliate KGUN 9, 45 smart meters have been installed on and around the University of Arizona campus with 450 additional meters being installed along several downtown Tucson streets throughout December and early January.
The new smart meters are solar powered and accept coins, credit, debit, stored value or smart cards. The city of Tucson plans to install a total of 1,500 of the smart meters between Arizona’s campus and downtown by March 1st.
The company that the city of Tucson partnered with to deliver the meters is IPS Group, a PCI-compliant parking technology company headquartered in San Diego. According to city officials, any meter payments made via card are encrypted, and no data is stored on the meter or in the city of Tucson’s backend system.
One possible drawback of the new meters will be a higher fare. Beginning January 5, downtown meter rates will jump from $0.50 an hour to $1.
Park Tucson is also putting final touches on a new smart-phone app that it expects to be fully operational once the meters are installed. The app will allow users to pay for street parking, as well as purchase transit fares for Tucson’s other transit services. With the turn of the new year, Park Tucson will also be issuing new smart cards in early 2015 that will replace the current meter cash keys that allow regular parkers to pay at the meters without using change.