City of Milwaukee Moves to Dave & Busters Approach

Columnist Eugene Kane draws our attention to the fact that parking meters in the city of Milwaukee are moving to a credit card based approach:

Instead of a row of mechanical meters, there’s one automated machine on each side of the block. You have to note your parking space number – the old meters are replaced by numbered signs – and punch it into the machine.

It’s still the same $2 for two hours, but you can pay with either coins or a credit card. In the first few weeks, Floyd said, 40% of parkers have paid by credit card.

For those – like me – who worried that paying by credit card might be more expensive due to transaction fees, Floyd said the City of Milwaukee agreed to pay any additional credit card fees connected with the new meters to promote their use. Floyd said the limit on a two-hour spot remains the same.

Why would the city of Milwaukee go through all of that trouble and pay the credit card companies for the privilege of not having to deal with coins?

Because once you get used to just swiping your card, you’ll be less likely to notice or care that suddenly that $2 for 2 hours is $2.50, then $3.25 for two hours because you’re not counting physical coins for it.

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