I hate parking meters. I think they’re an awful concept. Not because they make you pay for what you use, but rather how they make you pay for it: with change. As rates have increased in the downtown core to $2/hr, it means that you need to carry with you rolls and rolls of quarters if you’re going to do any parking in the core that isn’t in a garage.
We started to see pay-by-phone metering last year, with a number of trials in Dupont Circle and in Foggy Bottom with a pair of services that work on a zone-based system. Call a number, enter a credit card (the first time) and then enter the zone where you’re parked. Bam, you’re good for as long as you’re within the limit for the zone. If you only intend to stay for 50 minutes, that’s all you pay for, instead of the potential for overpaying at a traditional coin meter. It’s a revolution.