Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- New-age parking meters are becoming obsolete and city officials say it’s already time for an upgrade.
Syracuse city officials are asking for $2.5-million over the next three years to replace the computerized pay stations. Chief of Staff Bill Ryan says the machines bought a few years ago were at the end of their life cycles and they’re already outdated.
The city makes $2-million per year from meters, but with each machine that doesn’t work, revenue actually goes down.
Finding a spot in downtown Syracuse can be hard enough, but drivers who travel downtown often say there’s nothing more frustrating than pulling up to a faulty parking machine.
The city makes more money off the computerized meters than the old ones because you can't use someone's leftover time on their ticket. But these machines weren't bought new and they're breaking down faster than expected.
“It may have not been the best choice. Those meters are relatively new to us. I think 8 to 10 years old, but it’s a product lifecycle, not how old they are to us,” said the city’s Chief of Staff, Bill Ryan.
Ryan says the new machines should last longer.
“As with all things today, when you're dealing with technology the minute you buy it, it does become a little bit outdated. But these will hopefully last for the next 10 to 12 years and then we will be able to get parts and not have to discuss this issue again,” Ryan said.
Anything to make parking less frustrating would be a welcome change for downtown visitors.
“I've had different experiences with them. You put in money and it won't let you accept the money, then you put in a credit card and it won't accept the credit card, they put in less time than you've paid for, it won't spit out a receipt, and then you are stuck,” said frequent downtown driver Pam Levine.
City Council has not yet approved the plan for new machines, however, some officials are already looking into what type of machines they'll get, including ones that take dollar bills. The current machines take only credit cards and change.