Rather than fumbling for change or racking up credit card bills, Calgarians may soon be able to swipe their debit card to pay for parking.
The Calgary Parking Authority is in the process of commissioning a feasibility study on retrofitting their automated ParkPlus machines to accept debit transactions.
“This would be just be one more feature added for our customers,” said authority manager Troy McLeod. “It would likely be something we introduce first in our parkades.”
Currently, ParkPlus customers rely on coinage, credit cards and an automated cellphone pay system to buy time in downtown stalls. Even with the debit option, McLeod said the cellphone account is a frequent parker’s best bet because it allows for refunds to be granted to motorists who over-estimate their parking stay.
Downtown parking customers were divided on whether a debit-pay option would change their daily parking routine.
After repeatedly digging through her coin purse while attempting to fill a ParkPlus metre near Gulf Canada Square earlier this week, delivery service work Agatha Szczepancka said she would far prefer just a simple debit card swipe.
“I use my debit for everything,” she said on her way to drop off a package.
But Hoydi Cheng, a project manager who works in the downtown core, said he relies on his credit card for most expenses, including parking.
“Why would I use debit when I have a credit card?” he said. “It’s quick and easy.”
It’s likely the parking authority will go through a feasibility study regarding debit payments later this year before deciding whether to roll out a pilot project at a few select lots, McLeod said.