New smart, solar parking meters arrive on campus

New solar parking meters

The University of Oregon is known as a smart place with a green edge. Now even its parking meters are following suit.

The Department of Parking and Transportation has just installed all new smart meters that accept credit and debit cards along with other payment types and run entirely on solar power.

“We know that people rarely carry change around these days,” said Kassy Fisher, assistant vice president for administration in the division that oversees parking and transportation. “We’re pleased to be able to offer more convenient options like credit card and mobile phone payment.” 

Campus meter parking is $2 per hour and now accepts Visa, MasterCard, quarters and payment via Parkmobile, a free app added last fall that allows drivers to pay online, pay for additional time remotely and even set up an alert to be notified when a meter is about to expire.

All the UO’s meters — a total of 257, mainly on University Street between 15th and 18th avenues — were replaced.

The old meters used 9-volt batteries which had to be replaced, were not recyclable and could die, leaving a malfunctioning meter that staff had to discover. The new meters, besides being self-running on solar power, can self-report any mechanical trouble to parking and transportation by email.

Visit parking and transportation for more campus commuting resources.