RUMMAGING for loose change at Ballarat parking meters could soon become a thing of the past for motorists willing to swipe their credit cards instead.
Ballarat City Council will on Wednesday consider installing credit card readers in new parking ticket machines to provide for “a range of payment options to customers”.
Officers have recommended a user-pays system be adopted, putting the onus of the credit card surcharge back onto individual users.
But under another option, the council could incorporate the 25 cent credit transaction fee into the hourly fees for on-street parking, through a general increase to the hourly rate.
This would apply to coin users as well as credit card users.
A third option would see the council absorb the 25 cent credit transaction, which could amount to $50,000 annually, according to officers.
Councillors could also choose to maintain the current cash payments only at ticket machines.
Ballarat City Council has about 350 parking meters, with 74 per cent past their suggested replacement date.
“As mechanical single-head meters are being replaced with new multi-bay ticket machines, these new machines provide a variety of new technical capabilities, including secured coin collection and software reporting on the use and operation of each machine,” the report to the councillors says.
The greater reliability of the new machines, together with the extra payment options, could see a 10 per cent increase in revenue from off-street parking over a financial year.
It would also improve the occupational health and safety risks associated with cash collection and coin handling by council staff
The council has embarked on a tender process for the supply of new ticket machines over the next five years.