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Edmonton says goodbye to last coin parking meter

The City of Edmonton removes its last coin meter, Wednesday, April 13, 2016. .
The City of Edmonton removes its last coin meter, Wednesday, April 13, 2016. . Dave Carel, Global News

EDMONTON – For the first time in 68 years, Edmonton doesn’t have a single coin meter.

The city said goodbye to its final coin meter on Tuesday, marking a complete embrace of EPark.

“Times have certainly changed, and it’s vital for various functions of our city to continue evolving as Edmonton grows,” Councillor Scott McKeen said.

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Edmonton’s parking meters first popped up on July 26, 1948 downtown. A penny in a parking meter would let a driver park for 12 minutes back then and a nickel for an hour. Fines were $1.

READ MORE: EPark system launched, set to change parking in Edmonton

Since the EPark trial ended in 2014, more than 375 EPark machines have replaced 3,300 coin meters, mostly around downtown, 124 Street and Old Strathcona.

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“The EPark system also provides data to assist city staff to control parking enforcement costs and analyse time-specific parking demand,” general manager of City Operations Dorian Wandzura said. “This helps us plan for better utilization of the roads and available on street parking.”

READ MORE: Edmonton’s EPark meters endure rocky rollout

The EPark rollout has had its problems. Drivers complained about everything from displays being difficult to read because of insufficient lighting to accessibility issues for people in wheelchairs.

In January, the city said 311 dispatchers were receiving about 40 calls per week from people asking for help, reporting problems, or offering suggestions.

But the city has been committed to switching to the new technology entirely and as of Tuesday, it has.

The old coin meters are for sale at $100 per meter. Those who are interested in buying one can contact 311 by May 31.

The city wants to sell the rest of the meters to another municipality.