Friday, February 28, 2014

Leggett Announces Installation of “Smart” Parking Meters in Bethesda that Accept Credit Card Payment

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced that during the week of February 24, all 840 on-street parking meters in Bethesda were replaced with new “smart” parking meters that will accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit cards in addition to coins or pay-by-cell phone. 

The changeover to new meters reuses existing meter poles and the lower part of the meter head. The meters’ displays and internal workings have been replaced with the new technology. The parking meters use a solar-powered battery system with a highly visible expiration time indicator. They also have real-time communication capabilities, which allow web-based identification of broken meters and instant processing of credit card transactions that use the highest level of security. Information in the meter window notes parking restrictions and displays parking rates and hours, and days when payment is required.

Another benefit of the smart meters will become available later this year when in-pavement sensors will be installed so customers can use an app to find unoccupied, on-street parking spaces in Bethesda in real time.

Cash keys will no longer be accepted by the smart meters, but will continue to be an option in parking lots and garages that currently accept them. Residents who will no longer need cash keys will receive, in trade, a special value card equivalent to the cash key’s loaded value, plus original deposit. The value cards can then be used like a credit card in the smart meters until their value is zeroed out. Customers can exchange their cash key for the value card at the Bethesda Parking Store located at 4720 Cheltenham Drive.

More information about parking in Montgomery County is available on the Division of Parking’s website.