The manner in which on-street parking customers pay in New Zealand’s central Wellington will be changing in the coming months.
According to a recent press release, a five-month trial of 10 cashless parking meters is about to begin while a 16-year-old Txt-a-Park payment application will be withdrawn later in the year.
The 10 cashless parking meters will be installed around the central city for five months. If the trial is successful, a further 10 meters may be installed at a later date.
The cashless meters offer e-receipting, thereby removing the need to print a paper receipt.
Customers can scan a QR code by using their smartphone to access their e-receipt or download their e-receipt by going to wccreceipt.com and entering the unique code, which will be displayed on the cashless meter when payment is completed.
City Council Parking Services Manager Kevin Black explained that the meters are being trialled in an effort to reduce the incidence of vandalism and theft.
The new meters will not reduce payment options to customers as there will always be a cash meter nearby on either side of a cashless meter, one on the same side of the street and another within line of sight.
Signage on the cashless meters will point customers to a meter that accepts cards and cash.
The cashless meters will be installed in the following locations starting 10 February:
- Outside 36 Tennyson Street
- Outside 22 Allen Street
- Oriental Parade next to Waitangi Park
- Oriental Parade outside the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club
- Cable Street beside the waterfront carpark
- Cable Street beside the skate park
- Ballance Street beside the District Court
- Waterloo Quay beside the NZ Post building
- Stout Street beside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
- Kate Sheppard Place
Txt-a-Park is a mobile phone parking payment application, which was offered by the Wellington City Council as a payment option since 2004.
At the moment, the system is used for 13% of parking transactions in Wellington City, which translates to about 39,000 per month.
Usual users of this are the customers of the Vodafone and Spark mobile phone networks.
However, Integrated Technology Solutions has advised that it will end the service starting 30 June 2020.
The service is being discontinued because it is no longer viable for the provider following a significant decline in text transactions in recent years.
The decline ensued after the introduction of smartphone apps such as PayMyPark, which is available to customers with smartphones by downloading the app from their app store.
Alternative payment options
From 1 July 2020, all on-street parking customers can pay for parking at the meter using the following:
- A credit or debit card, which includes PayWave
- Cash by coin as meters do not give change
- By using the PayMyPark app, applicable to customers with a smartphone
As such, on-street parking customers without a smartphone will continue to be able to pay for their parking by either using a credit or debit card or by using cash.
There are 485 parking meters accepting credit, debit cards or cash across the city, even with the introduction of cashless parking meters.