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New parking meters making money for L.A.

October 14, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
New parking meters that accept credit cards have proven a huge success for the city of Los Angeles. In September alone they collected $230,000 in revenues and cost less than maintaining traditional meters. "They're operating at about 99 percent efficiency," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. "The new meters are reliable in part because they use a solar battery and the solar batteries save money and reduce waste."

The new meters have saved the city from paying for almost 40,000 AA batteries for old meters. The new meters are also equipped with a system that sends a wireless alert to technicians when they break down.

Drivers are also excited by the new meters because they are much more convenient than traditional coin meters.

"I think they're very economical because if you don't have coins in your purse you can just stick your credit card in or your debit card and you don't have to worry about getting a ticket," said Barbara Ryan.

Out of the city's 40,000 parking meters 15,000 are the new card and coin ones. The city is leasing them for three years before owning them outright.