Machines are poorly lit, confusing, batteries die, and are slow to respond (uses 2g technology)
Actually the price of parking in downtown Amherst is relatively cheap, fifty cents per hour. But if you use the convenience of a credit card, which accounts for 34% of our revenues, the bank transaction fee gobbles up 27% of that, a significant portion.
And since the town is tied into the current machines, which run on proprietary software, there's no way to switch vendor's now. So rather than raise the bridge the Select Board is thinking about lowering the water: instituting a two hour ($1.00) minimum charge for use of credit cards.
Although, as Finance Director Sandy Pooler points out, it would almost be cheaper to make very short term parking free -- except of course the town generates significant revenues on parking tickets.
The old stuck between a car and a parking meter.