D.C. Debuts Solar Powered Parking Meters | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

D.C. Debuts Solar Powered Parking Meters

Play associated audio
New solar powered parking meters accept credit cards for payment.
Kavitha Cardoza
New solar powered parking meters accept credit cards for payment.

By Kavitha Cardoza

The district needs to replace its aging parking meters and it's looking at ones that are more convenient to use. In a pilot program, the city has installed 50 solar powered meters, which accept credit and debit cards as well as coins.

Whether it's scrambling for quarters to feed the meter or the interminable wait to report a broken meter, for drivers in D.C., parking can be a pain. But Gabe Klein, head of the District's Department of Transportation says that's where the new sleek, silver meter comes in.

It's not just the convenience of credit cards. It also has a larger display. And most important, says Klein, it's wirelessly networked.

"So not only can it instantly transmit an approval for a credit card but also we can centrally control it. We can see how many quarters are in them, we can see if they're broken, we can change the rates remotely," says Klein. "So it gives us more flexibility, day, night, weekends, special events that sort of thing."

But because each meter is solar powered, would it... maybe...possibly...stop working when it's cloudy or snowing?

"No!You might like it but we definitely wouldn't," says Klein.

Klein says there's enough light even on a cloudy day to charge the batteries. Cash or credit, you'll still have to pay.

NPR

How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker ... and collecting rejection slips.
NPR

Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

A handful of chefs and food companies are experimenting with fish-like alternatives to seafood. But the market is still a few steps behind plant-based products for meat and dairy.
NPR

Will We See Veto Battles On Capitol Hill?

With President Obama promising to vetoes, what are the possibilities of a few veto overrides during the next two years? NPR's Arun Rath puts that questions to the National Journal's Fawn Johnson.
NPR

3 Voices, 1 Threat: Personal Stories Of Cyberhacking

In President Obama's State of the Union address, he gave fresh emphasis to a problem that has been in the headlines: cybersecurity. Here are three people who have experienced security breaches.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.