The days of pulling up to a Vancouver parking meter and feeling like you’ve won a small lottery – paid time leftover from the previous parker – may be over.
The pay-by-phone system that is now very popular with Vancouverites does not show if any time is left on the meter when the person leaves.
When the next driver parks and pays by phone, they could actually be paying for some time that’s already been paid for.
Drivers have no way of knowing if there is any time left on a meter that’s paid over the phone.
A this point, the city says it has no plans to change the system to eliminate the double dipping.
“We are obviously trying to get everyone on the new technology and make it easier to pay by phone and use that new technology,” says city mayor Gregor Robertson. “I don’t describe that as double dipping, but I know our engineers are at it and assessing what is fair.”
Parking meters pull in about 45 million dollars a year for the city and the number is growing in part because more and more people are paying for parking using their phone.
In March of this year, the city processed 570,000 pay-by-phone transactions.