Multispace Meter FAQs

How do these new meters work?

The new multi-space parking meters work in a similar manner to banking ATM machines that you may be more familiar with. There is signage on the meter and on screen prompts to help you. The basic steps for purchasing parking are as follows:

  • Note your space number before going to the meter.
  • Press any key on the keypad to turn the meter on (if it is in “sleep” mode).
  • Enter your space number and press [OK].
  • Choose the amount of time you want to stay and the associated rate.
  • Make a payment via credit card, bill or coin when prompted on the screen.
  • If you are paying with a credit card, the meter will communicate with the bank wirelessly to approve the transaction. This usually takes only five seconds.
  • Once payment is accepted, a receipt will print out in the ticket cup located below the credit card reader.
  • Lift the clear cover up and remove your receipt.
  • There is no need to put the receipt on your dash as enforcement officers can check your space at the meter.
  • If you want to add additional time, simply return to the meter, enter your space number and follow the prompts for adding time.
  • If you have questions, you can get help by calling Traffic and Parking at 561-297-2771.

Why did you make this change?

Parking and Transportation has many reasons for changing parking technology, including improved customer convenience, predictability and reliability. Many existing single-space meters were aging, requiring more frequent repairs and they could not be reprogrammed to different rates. Beyond greater reliability, the other benefits that come with the new parking technology include:

  • Parkers can now pay by coin, bill or credit card. You no longer have to worry about having enough change.
  • Everyone gets a receipt to prove payment.
  • Extensive reporting capabilities give the University much better control over cash flow.
  • Any number of rates may be configured on the system to give Parking and Transportation Services flexibility in addressing different parking needs while offering optimum choices.
  • In our Pay By Space operations, parkers can now add time to their parking should they find their original time purchase was not enough. Time can be added using ANY multi-space meter.
  • Pay By Space operation eliminates the need to return to your car to display your receipt.

Is FAU the first to use these new meters? What if they have problems?

Many cities around the world are moving away from single-head parking meters to multi-space meters. The specific meters purchased by FAU have been installed in hundreds of locations throughout the US, Canada and even Mexico. These meters are built by a company that has been in the business of manufacturing electronic parking technology since 1998. One of the key reasons they were selected is that they have an excellent reputation for service and reliability.

While Parking and Transportation has been trained on the operations of the equipment, we also have access to 24/7 telephone support from the manufacturer and on-site service support from a local reseller. Unlike the current single-space meter, another benefit of the multi-space meters is that any meter may be used for parking if any one of them was to have a problem.

These parking meters appear much more expensive than the current meters. How can FAU justify spending all this money when the existing meters work perfectly fine?

The multi-space meters pay for themselves in a relatively short period of time. Specific ways the parking meters will save money and pay for themselves include:

  • Reduced maintenance and collection costs of maintaining each multi-space meter that covers an area that used to be serviced by 10 to 15 single-space meters.
  • Minimizing lost revenue should a meter stop working as parking may be paid at ANY parking meter. When one of the single-space meters stopped working, that space received no revenues until it was fixed.
  • The modular construction of the parking meters means that repairs can be resolved quickly to minimize maintenance and service costs.
  • The meters are highly secure with features that include real-time wireless alarming should there be an attempted break-in. This kind of feature completely eliminates the potential of revenue theft.
  • When you look at the cost per space of single-space meters to that of the multi-space meters, the cost are quite comparable.

Why should I pay? I never paid before.

While no one likes to pay for parking, pay parking serves the University and the public with valuable benefits that not everyone thinks about. For example, turnover of parking spaces is created through pay parking. This turnover means that more people can find available parking spaces during a day.

Does this meter take credit cards?

Yes, the new meters accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. You will also always receive a receipt to have a record of your credit card purchase.

Are these meters replacing the jobs of people working for the University?

No one has lost their job as a result of the meters. While less personnel and time is required to maintain and support these meters, Parking and Transportation Services has found more value added tasks for the personnel working in the department.

If I use my credit card, what happens if it gets stuck inside the machine?

Unlike many other multi-space parking meters, ATMs or banking machines, the University’s new parking meters do not ingest the card so you will always have physical contact and access to your card.

Is my credit card data safe if I use it on one of these new meters?

All of the credit card data stored on the meter is encrypted so that it can’t be read by anyone, including authorized University personnel. The credit card transactions are also approved by the banks in real-time so you have an authorization number on your receipt to reference your transaction with your credit card company.

Why doesn’t the parking meter give change?

The University decided that the costs and benefits of the changers did not warrant the additional cost. Traffic and Parking has also structured the rates so that change should not be required for most purchases. In addition, with the option to use your credit card, you can always ensure you only pay the exact price of the parking rate.

These parking meters are too complicated. I prefer the simple coin operated meters.

We recognize that it may take some time to get used to the new system, but we believe that the added benefits like flexible payment options will make the learning effort worthwhile. We also feel that you will be as comfortable with the new meters as you are with the olds ones after only a few uses. To help you better understand the meters, we have posted step-by-step instructions on our website to help you get familiar with the meters.

When does the new parking system take effect? Are the rates and hours of operation changing?

The new parking system goes into effect June 16, 2008. The rates of the meters have not changed, however the hours of enforcement for the new meters have changed. The new multi-space meters will be enforced 24 hours a day (with the exception of the meter by the Administration Building on the Boca Raton campus). The current rates are as follows:

25 ¢ for 15 minutes

$1.00 an hour

$10.00 for all day parking (multi-space meters only)

What happens if the meter doesn’t work?

If you are having trouble with a parking meter or if you would like to report a problem with a meter, please call Parking and Transportation Services at 561-297-2771.

Occasionally, a meter may have a problem accepting a particular form of payment, for example, cards or coins, but it will continue to accept other forms of payments. The payment message will automatically be adjusted to only indicate the payment options that are working at that time.

In the rare situation when an individual meter goes completely offline, customers can still park in a space near an out-of-service meter as long as they purchase a receipt from another meter nearby. This is a benefit to the customer as currently they are prohibited from parking at out-of-service meters.

In addition to alarms for payment component issues, other messages communicated to Traffic and Parking staff allow for just-in-time maintenance so that coin collection canisters may be emptied before they jam and receipt paper rolls may be replaced before they run out. The University expects to see a significant reduction in out-of-service times with the new meters compared with single-space meters.

Are the new meters accessible to people with disabilities?

FAU’s contract with the meter manufacturer requires that all coin and card aperture locations, controls and operating mechanisms be compatible with the ADA requirements. Additionally, vehicles displaying a valid disabled placard are exempt from payment at meters and traditional meters for a period of 4 hours.

Who do I contact for more information about the meters?

For more information, please call Parking and Transportation Services at 561-297-2771. You can also send questions and comments via e-mail to faupark@fau.edu

 Last Modified 7/14/14