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Smart meters

Lauralyn Rosenberger, left, and Mason Purtell use a "smart" meter to pay for their parking space with a credit card Wednesday in Downtown Madison. About 650 single-space "smart" meters have replaced the city's last coin-only meters.

The days of scrounging around for a quarter under your car seat to plug a parking meter in Madison are over.

The city’s Parking Division said Wednesday the installation of about 650 single-space “smart” meters has been completed, replacing the remaining on-street coin-only meters with new ones that take credit and debit cards as well as coins. The new meters follow a one-year trial with 46 single-space smart meters throughout Madison.

Madison has more than 1,400 parking meters, and paying for over half of those is done through multi-space meter kiosks, which debuted in the city in September 2010, mainly in the Capitol Square area. The multi-space meters also accept payment by cellphone, but the single-space meters don’t currently have that feature.

“The Parking Division hopes to expand pay-by-cell to include the single-space smart meters later this year,” said Sabrina Tolley, assistant parking utility manager.

The city doesn’t have any plans for now to replace the multi-space meter machines, but a project to do so is expected in the next year or two, as the machines come to the end of their useful lives.

“The city will explore replacement options, which could include replacement with all single-space smart meters or a combination of smart meters and new multi-space machines,” Tolley said.

Drivers who use a card at a single-space smart meter and want a receipt will need to get it online at myparkingreceipts.com.

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