Friday, January 19, 2007

Ranting about parking machines

I’m puzzled about one thing to do with parking machines. I don’t mean the parking meters littered along practically every road in Dunedin, but the machines that are installed in parking buildings. Most particularly the one in the building in Moray Place that was only opened up for parking less than a year ago. Firstly they installed a machine that takes coins and notes. Notes, you say – that’s pretty radical. Well, it would be if it was effective. One morning I stood beside a young fellow trying to put a five dollar note into the machine over and over and the machine just wasn’t interested. But the machine was installed not long before the advent of our new coinage, which the Treasury decided in its wisdom would be as different from our old coinage as possible. Thus the machine was out of date as soon as it was installed.
All that would be okay, but whenever I go to park in this place I have the problem of whether I have any change or not. I barely ever carry change, since I pay most things with my Eftpos card.
Why on earth wasn’t a machine installed that would take cards rather than coins? It would have been twice as cost effective in the first instance, and not only that there must be a lot less wear and tear on an Eftpos style machine than a coin-operated one. It’s not as though the machine is stuck out in the street where access to phone lines would have been an issue.
Most of the other parking buildings in town still have humans operating the system. I don’t want to put anyone out of a job, but again, Eftpos would be far more satisfactory. Heck, I can even go to the tip (sorry, the transit station, I think it now is) and pay by Eftpos.
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