Some of our younger readers might not know this, but there was a time a couple of decades ago when parking meters only took change. Thankfully, major cities started to embrace people’s dislike of cash and installed meters that could be used with credit cards. It was a good time.
Unfortunately, adding the ability to read cards meant adding a whole new level of complexity and technology, and now, in 2020, that’s backfiring on the people of New York. According to a report published Friday by the New York Times, parking meters across the Big Apple are rejecting people’s credit and debit cards, and the reason for them doing it is about as dumb as you might expect.
See, the credit card payment system for the parking meters was developed by a French company called Parkeon that seemingly thought that society would never survive past Jan. 1, 2020, and opted to have its payment system’s software not recognize dates after that. So, because Parkeon didn’t update its software, now the system is totally busted, and it’s all a little reminiscent of people’s Y2K bug fears.
So, what can you do if you’re in New York and you need to park your car? Well, the machines are still accepting coins, and if you have the ParkNYC app, you’re in good shape, too, because that seems to be working still according to New York’s Department of Transportation. City workers are out in force trying to fix the issue, but New York’s five boroughs have a combined 14,000 meters, so it might take a little while.
Parkeon’s US office didn’t immediately respond to Roadshow’s request for comment.