Las Vegas Sun

August 29, 2015

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Las Vegas council OKs purchase of parking meters that accept plastic payment

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Multibay parking meters accept credit and debit cards, as well as coins.

A month after delaying the issue for further study, the Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday approved a $1.4 million proposal to install multibay parking meters that accept debit and credit cards.

The issue: Whether the city should replace 1,216 coin-operated parking meters downtown by approving a contract to purchase the new parking meters from Parkeon, a New Jersey-based company.

The vote: Approved 5-2, with Council members Ricki Barlow and Lois Tarkanian opposed.

What it means:

Drivers parking in metered city spots can forget fishing for change beginning this summer when the new meters are installed.

The 233 multibay meters purchased Wednesday will replace the 1,216 coin-operated parking meters currently in use downtown and near University Medical Center.

After the council delayed the item last month for further study, staff reported back to address some council concerns.

Parking Service Manager Brandi Stanley told the council that as part of a public outreach effort, staff conducted several meetings with businesses affected by the changes and also scheduled a public meeting, but it did not draw any attendees.

The contract with Parkeon was also changed to add performance standards for the meters that carry penalties if those goals are not met.

The cost of the meters is $1.4 million, with another $2.5 million needed for ongoing maintenance, which will be paid for out of the city’s parking enterprise fund. Installing the meters and creating new signage for them was not included in the purchase price.

Stanley said the new meters should help increase revenues by about $300,000 per year through due to increased usage. The new meters, which feature larger, digital screens, also will give the city an opportunity to sell advertisements, further boosting revenues.

Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian was particularly worried about the impact of the new meters near UMC, especially on elderly residents.

Tarkanian asked that the multibay meters be tested in a pilot program before being expanded to all of downtown.

“We really didn’t have a good judge of the public’s reaction,” Tarkanian said. “The information we’re having is coming from owners and operators of things, not the users and the customers.”

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