Repurposing Parking Meters To Better Community

Article by: Tom Wiese, Sales Associate at Passport

Remember the days of physical parking meters? Digging through your pockets for the necessary amount of coins to pay for your session. They’re still here, but not being utilized quite as much as they used to be – thanks to mobile payment technology. As we move away from parking meters, cities have found ways to turn what has been traditionally dubbed an ‘eyesore’, into something that’s a signal of positive growth. Many agencies and municipalities are finding other ways to utilize the physical meter to better their communities.


Meters Encourage Community Positivity

Say hello to ‘Kindness Meters’. For Carlsbad, CA, Kindness Meters have been installed to encourage the community to raise money for the local Bressi Ranch Boys & Girls Club. Instead of utilizing the parking meters for their initial reason, parking – they are now being used to collect funds and promote non-profit organizations. To donate to the specific nonprofit, residents are able to insert spare change, bills, or swipe credit/debit cards into the meter to give back to the community.


Carlton Lund, realtor and creator of Kindness Meters said, “I am absolutely joyous that we have gotten to this point, that they’re out there and every one of them has the capacity to collect money.” For Carlsbad, 100% of all donations will go to the Boys & Girls Club.

For Monterey, CA, the City painted 5 local parking meters bright orange and are now accepting donations to serve agencies that serve the homeless. Likewise, 100% of all donations will go to the agencies. “I think people will see it as they come past and think ‘oh yes, I’ll donate a bit today.’ Perhaps throw their loose change in”, said Annie Biggs, vacationer.

As physical meters leave the parking scene and mobile payment technology makes its entrance, the meters still have valuable purpose. Although, they are no longer as popular as they once were – the meters are now being used decrease loitering, panhandling, and ultimately serve a better purpose – helping the community.

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