The Forks North Portage Partnership is going high-tech -- at least where parking is involved.
Twenty-seven new parking meters have been installed at The Forks and along The Promenade behind Portage Place, which will allow motorists to use credit cards along with coins.
"Our goal was to provide the best option for the customer," said Clare MacKay, marketing and communications vice president for Forks North Portage.
The 27 meters -- 23 at The Forks and four along The Promenade -- were installed over the summer, replacing the old-fashioned coin-only meters that were due for replacement.
"Not many people carry coins in their pockets these days," MacKay said. "Now you've got an option how you can pay."
MacKay said the new meters require motorists to input their vehicle plate number, along with coins or credit card, which is needed for the enforcement staff. The technology associated with the meters allow the enforcement staff to determine how much time is remaining by scanning the vehicle plate using a reader as they drive by, MacKay said, rather than having to stop and get out and do a manual inspection of a receipt placed on the dash.
MacKay said the new meters will also allow motorists who pay with credit card to receive, for a small fee, a text message on their cellphone, alerting them that their time is about up and giving them the option to buy more time -- a feature found on Winnipeg Parking Authority meters for several years.
The texting feature isn't available yet, she said, but will be introduced soon.