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Detroit’s High-Tech Parking Meters


By Jen Romanowski

There are many times I am out and about and see things that would make perfect topics here on The Diff.  Yes, I know, you’ve hardly seen my name as an author.  Hopefully this will change as my last semester of school comes to a finish.  But you can thank school for this gem of a diff example.

Three to four nights a week for the past four years I have had to endure the horrific experience of parking on campus at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich.  For those of you who don’t know, it is an urban campus and you either pay over three dollars to park in a structure or you battle for a spot on the street at the meter.  Then of course you have to cross your fingers that you actually find quarters at the bottom of your pocket.   

Or do you?


Not any more you don’t!  (If you were just watching me, you would have seen me doing a little jig in my chair.)  That’s right ladies and gentlemen; the city of Detroit has decided to install and test over 150 high-tech parking meters.  No, they don’t parallel park your car for you. But they do accept payment by credit card.

If you ever find yourself cruising around downtown Detroit, particularly the Wayne State Campus, and need to park, do not fret when you reach into your pockets and they are empty.  You no longer have to scout the ground outside of your car.  Now you can walk up to any of the fancy new parking meters, pick your spot, insert a MasterCard or Visa, and voila!

Way to go Detroit for using technology to make a difference!  So what kind of neat technology have you used that goes beyond the ordinary?

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  1. That’s so cool. It can be pretty expensive to park downtown–I used to work there, so I speak from experience. But even if you consider $3 a rip off and you think the city is trying to scam, it’s pretty convenient to be able to pay by credit card. I’d say it’s worth it.

    Posted by: Amy Prior | April 6, 2007
  2. The three dollar parking isn’t even from the city, it’s in the University lots. Which I have a hard time with because we already pay tuition, and now they want us to pay to park. I can understand restricting some parking for faculty, etc. But make the rest of the lots free.

    Posted by: Jen R | April 9, 2007
  3. Wait. The $3 I paid every day went to the University, but the parking *tickets* get paid to the City of Detroit. Hm.

    Posted by: Christy | April 10, 2007
  4. I now hate these meters. I was just down on the WSU campus taking my girlfriend to her class while her car is being repaired. I selected my spot, swiped my credit card, the machine told me no receipt and showed a timer counting down like everything was peachy. I had a $20 parking ticket 23 minutes later because the machine never processed my card.

    Posted by: Brett | February 4, 2009

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Sunday, March 18, 2018