"The program to replace parking meters on city streets with a pay- station system is a financial success no one at City Hall wants to brag about. New figures show the ubiquitous curbside kiosks, which issue time-stamped parking stickers that can be affixed to a car window, are already earning about $3 more a day per parking spaceâ€"at $6.50, they're bringing in almost twice as much as the clunky electronic coin meters they replaced. The wireless, solar-powered kiosks will collect $16 million in coin and credit- or debit-card revenue this year, officials say. That's an impressive $6 million jump since 2003, when the system was launched and parking meters collected $9.9 million.
Being a government program, there's a catch, of course, which might be why politicos and bureaucrats don't seem to be talking up the big score. A great deal of the added revenue is coming from hundreds of pay stations that have been or will be installed at once-free downtown and neighborhood parking spaces. The target is the citywide conversion of 2,000 free or time-limited parking spaces (30-minute and two-hour spots, for example) to paid kiosk spaces."