ALBANY - Data since the first installation in October 2011 of the Albany Parking Authority's (APA) new solar-powered parking meters shows that more than 500,000 customers have already been served. The APA completed the third phase of installation in January and the positive customer impact continues to expand.
"The wide availability of parking traditionally was one of downtown Albany's best kept secrets, but our data shows the word is getting out now," said Michael Klein, Executive Director of the Albany Parking Authority. "With the addition of these meters, the new parking system includes more than 70 solar powered multi-space meters for over 600 parking spaces in downtown Albany."
The Albany Parking Authority began installing the new meters in late 2011, bringing the meters to State Street, and the pilot program was well-received by the public. As a result a second phase was activated during January of 2012. Between October 2011 and January of 2012, more than 40,000 customers were served, and more than 300,000 customers used the meters by December 2012. With the addition of the recently installed meters in January 2013, APA surpassed 500,000 customers served by the end of March.
The new solar powered meters extend the 2-hour parking limit to 10 hours. The meters accept credit and debit card payments using Visa, MasterCard, and Discover in addition to accepting coins, and run on a gradually increasing rate structure. After parking their car, drivers go to a nearby multi-space parking meter to purchase their desired amount of time, take their receipt, and then place it on the passenger side of their dashboard. The Albany Parking Authority urges the public to place the receipts face-up on the passenger side of the dashboard so that Public Safety officers do not have to enter the roadway to check them.
For the convenience of those who drive motorcylces or convertibles, the APA has located and purchased receipt/permit display devices to secure the receipts, and offers them to the public at below market prices.
The Albany Parking Authority's mission is to provide secure, convenient and affordable parking in support of economic development in the City of Albany. The Albany Parking Authority manages more than 5,000 parking spaces to serve those that live, work or visit New York's Capital. The Authority was established in 1983 and is authorized to construct, operate and maintain city public parking facilities. The Authority receives no tax support or Federal, State, City or private grants.