Chris Coffey

Chicago to Give Paper Parking Receipts the Boot

Street parking in Chicago is about to get a huge makeover. So get ready to say “goodbye” to the dashboard receipts you have been displaying for nearly a decade.

Chicago Parking Meters has begun replacing its 4,500 existing pay boxes with new touch-screen pay boxes for the city’s 36,000 metered parking spaces.

Customers will be asked to enter their license plate numbers on a touch screen pad before paying for a parking space. The new pay boxes look similar to the current ones and will give customers an option to print or text the receipt. However, drivers will not be required to display their receipts on vehicle dashboards.

Parking enforcement personnel will be able to access a database that shows if a parking session has been activated for each parked vehicle.

According to the company, the new technology represents a major upgrade to the city’s parking infrastructure and follows an industry trend as more municipalities switch from pay-and-display to pay-by-plate. The new pay boxes are powered by solar panels.

Chicago Parking Meters CEO Dennis Pedrelli said the existing meters are almost ten years old and are nearing the end of their useful life.

“We thought this was a good time to just make that decision to go with this new technology and provide this convenience,” Pedrelli said.

Customers will be able to extend their parking time through the Park Chicago app.

Meanwhile, employees in green vests will be available to help customers with any questions.

Chicago Parking Meters said it collects parking fare money. The City of Chicago, however, collects parking violation fines.

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