Forget lugging pockets of change: ACT parking meters will soon accept notes and cards. Photo: Jay Cronan
The days of lugging bags of coins or ducking off to a coffee shop for change will be a thing of the past from next month, when parking machines that accept notes and cards will be introduced across the territory.
Preparation work to install the new meters will begin in car parks next week. The first machines are scheduled to appear in the last two weeks of March.
The parking meters will accept credit cards and will have contactless card readers to allow the government to link the system to MyWay in future.
The government has not said whether it plans to increase parking fees.
Treasurer Andrew Barr said on Tuesday any increase in fees would be considered as part of the ACT budget, which is handed down in June.
In 2013 fees for a long-stay space in Civic rose to as much as $13.50 a day, requiring drivers to find $67.50 in change each week to feed the coin-only meters.
In December, the ACT government and the National Capital Authority awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to install the new meters in areas including Barton, Russell, Acton and the parliamentary triangle. By July, the machines will control 9000 spaces in central Canberra.
The territory government has been lobbying the federal government for a share of revenue raised from parking fees - so far without success.
Mr Barr said on Tuesday a portion of revenue raised from parking should be reinvested into the NCA or national institutions.
''The ACT government is calling on the Commonwealth to provide a structural adjustment package to help offset effects that cuts from the Commission of Audit and federal budget may have on Canberra,'' Mr Barr said.
He said work to install the long-awaited machines would vary from site to site, but could include ground work to pick up a power source for the machines, and removal of damaged bolts and materials.