The roll-out is part of a city-wide trial of new parking technology developed by a Palmerston North based company.
The new system moves away from Pay-and-display tickets to an electronically monitored system which removes the need to place a ticket in the car windscreen.
The system has been trialled on King and Queen Street since late last year, and is now ready for implementation throughout the Central Business District. The next streets to begin using the new system will be Rangitikei Street, Walding Street, Broadway Avenue from Princess Street to Amesbury Street, Princess Street, Cuba Street and George Street including Coleman Mall.
Motorists will notice very little change as the new system uses the existing parking meters. The new procedure will require motorists to take note of the bay number they have parked their car in before moving to the parking meter. Bay numbers are found on the edge of the footpath directly in front of the car park. Instructions will be clearly displayed on each meter to guide people through the new procedures at the machine, and staff from the Council and the developers of the technology will be on hand in the first few days to help motorists out if needed.
The new system, which operates on sensor technology, records when a vehicle enters or leaves a car park removing the need for parking wardens to "chalk the tyres". The sensors do not have the capability to record any details about individual vehicles.
Other than the changes to the parking meters there is no change to the parking strategy operating in the city. Parking charges and time limits will remain the same and there will be no change to the current "grace period" allowed to motorists who have not returned to their vehicle before their parking has expired.
This is the next stage in the trial process and it is anticipated that a total of 500 parking spaces will be upgraded to the new system by the end of June 2011. Further monitoring of the system will occur before the trial is advanced beyond the initial 500 spaces.
The new system will improve the Council's ability to plan parking throughout the city by providing information on how often car parks are used, where they are used and the average time cars are parked in each area.
Receipts will still be available from the parking meters for those who require them for business purposes.