Palatine to update downtown commuter lots

  • Palatine is getting rid of the arcane "honor box" system at its downtown commuter parking lots and replacing them with a modern electronic system that will allow drivers to pay with cash, a debit or credit card, or even through an app.

    Palatine is getting rid of the arcane "honor box" system at its downtown commuter parking lots and replacing them with a modern electronic system that will allow drivers to pay with cash, a debit or credit card, or even through an app. Courtesy of the Village of Palatine

 
 
Posted7/13/2016 5:37 AM

Come November, drivers parking in downtown Palatine commuter parking lots run by the village will no longer have to cram their $2 into a metal collection slot.

The village council on Monday approved a $108,020 plan to replace the arcane cash-only "honor-box" system in its lots, including the Gateway Center parking garage, with an electronic payment system that will be more familiar to the modern driver.

 

Deputy Village Manager Mike Jacobs said not only will the new system be more convenient for drivers, it will reduce the number of hours workers spend processing the cash payments. Under the current system, a police assistant has to empty each payment box daily, see which slots contain payments, log the unpaid spaces and then conduct a visual inventory of the parking deck to ensure the payments received are consistent with the cars parked there.

The new system, provided by Downers Grove-based Total Parking Solutions Inc., does away with all that. Jacobs said Total Parking Solutions also provides parking payment machines at 100 Metra stations in 65 communities in the Chicago area.

The 11 new parking payment machines will be installed at the parking garage and the Metra station. Commuters who do not have a monthly parking pass can either use the machines to pay with cash, a credit or debit card, or use a mobile app called Passport Parking.

The cost to park will remain $2 per day, but a 20-cent charge will be added to credit and debit card payments, with an 85-cent charge added to mobile app payments, to offset the additional cost the village must pay to provide those services.

Now that the plan has been approved, it will be 8 to 10 weeks until the machines are ready. In the meantime, the village will conduct a public awareness campaign to educate drivers how to use the new system. In addition, people from the village and from Total Parking Solutions will be on hand during the morning rush to help people for the rollout.

The village council voted unanimously to approve the plan.

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