CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) – There’s an alternative payment method for paying for parking meters along streets in the city of Charleston that can save residents money.
The Smartcard parking program takes the coins and cash out of your pocket and eliminates the fear of credit card fraud at the meter. It allows any leftover time on a parking meter to be refunded, making the hassle of on-street parking just a little bit easier.
In order to take advantage of the benefits, you must purchase a Smartcard from the city with a one-time $5 charge. Cards can be purchased at the City of Charleston’s parking division, located at 180 Lockwood Drive Room 234, Suite A on the second floor.
It functions just like a gift card for Charleston’s parking meters.
“You can use the card at any meter,” Robert Somervile, the Director of Traffic and Transportation for the City of Charleston said. “You put your card in, program the meter for the two hours. If you’re only there for an hour you put your card back in, it will give you the unused time on your card so you will get that money back.”
But in the last week, only about 1% of parking meters were paid for by Smartcard, according to data from the city.
Somervile said the cards are great for college students, contractors, or anyone who often parks downtown.
He said the city is also in the process of upgrading its 1,600 meters once again to provide a mobile payment app option, which will be rolled out as soon as possible.
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