There are many applications for car park pay and display machines which can help to improve parking facilities plus providing a regular income stream.
Although automated barrier systems, which restrict access to parking facilities, have their place in many situations, pay and display systems tend to be popular due to their flexibility of use and available functions. In short, car park pay and display machines afford landowners many different options when it comes to running their parking facilities and these systems can be adapted, altered and repriced with relative ease.
With no restriction on either accessing or leaving a parking facility, there are no health and safety implications to consider when using a pay and display system. The onus for parking properly and paying for doing so is placed on the driver of the vehicle, rather than on parking operatives or on time-based machines which only take payments when motorists are ready to exit. At the heart of any such parking facilities are reliable car park pay and display machines.
Functions of a Pay and Display Machine
At first glance, a pay and display machine is nothing more than a vending device which issues a ticket when funds have been entered into it. Like many automated vending products, however, this relative simplicity belies a range of functions and technologies. Let’s look at the functions of a typical pay and display machine in greater detail.
A typical function of a pay and display machine is to accept multiple payment types. High-quality ones will verify cash payments from both coins and notes and automatically detect attempts to use counterfeit money. Of course, a hopper of coinage is also a requirement for machines which will accept cash payments and provide change, too, whilst remaining vandal-proof. Modern systems will also accept debit and credit card transactions along with smartphone payments, via apps.
Some pay and display systems utilise technology that means tickets cannot be passed on between drivers by ensuring that licence plate numbers are entered. These are then printed onto the ticket along with the time up until which parking has been paid for, thereby helping to increase revenues.
Another contemporary function of a pay and display machine is to offer operational instructions in multiple languages. At airports, seaports and metropolitan areas, this sort of functionality can be essential in order to help all motorists pay for the parking they need.
Many pay and display machines are connected to a mains electrical supply which allows their on board computer and mechanical functions to work. Some are also fitted with solar panels which back the system up and provide a low running cost. Furthermore, batteries are often fitted so that the system will continue to work in the event of a power outage. After all, drivers still need to be able to pay for their parking in the event of a power failure to ensure they are parked legally.
Uses of a Pay and Display Machine
Much-used by local authorities for public car parking facilities, the relatively low-cost of a pay and display machine means they are now widespread all over the country. They provide drivers with a window of time in which they can park, ensuring that cars are returned to within a reasonable time span, thus allowing other drivers to arrive and to find an available space. This means they help to keep traffic flowing through a car park, making them ideal for retail parking facilities where jams will cause customers to stay away.
In addition, pay and display machines are often used to provide free, but limited parking. By issuing a ticket without a fee, the time displayed on it will mean that free parking facilities are not abused by drivers overstaying their welcome. Indeed, some systems might be programmed so that paid-for parking is required at peak times, whilst free but limited parking is available at other times, such as weekends.
Pay and display machines are also used in corporate settings where parking facilities are shared between employees and the public. In this scenario, staff can be simply reimbursed for their parking costs while other parked vehicles must be paid for. Alternatively, employees can be issued with swipe cards that are pre-loaded with credit that pay for their day’s parking without the need for any cash.