Credit card option on new OCC meters
The parking meters along Colorado Avenue between 24th and 27th streets have been retrofitted with new heads that take credit cards but (no longer) Easy Park cards.
Coins still work, and the costs remain the same.
The meters on the side streets and elsewhere in Old Colorado City have not been changed, at least for now - they still accept Easy Park cards but do not have the credit card option.
According to City Parking Administrator Greg Warnke, the credit card option, which has also been implemented downtown, is already outdoing the meter-swipable Easy Park card, which the city had begun offering five years ago. In just the first week, “we've generated more revenue from credit cards than we did in a month from Easy Park,” Warnke said. “So we're reaching a far bigger number of customers and making parking convenient for a lot more people.”
The reason that only Old Colorado City's avenue meters were given the credit card option was that they're the ones that get the heaviest use. So it made more sense to change them because the city has to pay a monthly fee for the service, plus a transaction cost for each credit card swipe, Warnke explained.
However, the city will monitor how the avenue meters are doing, and “hopefully next year we can change out the others [to the credit card type],” he said.
Consideration had been given to keeping Easy Park available, but the contractor told the city the new system could not handle both card types, Warnke said.
One feature people liked about Easy Park was being able to pay only for the amount of time used. With a credit card, the minimum time is one hour. But past that, an exact time can be set up to the maximum time the meter allows, Warnke pointed out.
Jim Heikes, chair of the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District Advisory Committee, said Warnke had informed the group of the upcoming change. “They give people more options and they're easy to read. I kind of like them,” Heikes said.
After inquiries by the Pioneer, Warnke said that two fixes needed to be made on the avenue meters. One was to remove their decals stating (erroneously now) that the Easy Park option is available on them.
The other fix concerns when a person has to pay for parking. As of Nov. 6, the avenue meters' time range displayed as 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, but the starting time should be 9 a.m. The earlier time was meant for downtown only, mainly because of government offices that start work at 8, the parking administrator said. Also, Old Colorado City consists largely of retail shops, most of which open later than 8.
Warnke said both these fixes should be implemented in a week or less.
Westside Pioneer article