Change is good; when it means no change for parking meters

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Quarters, nickels and dimes don't matter anymore in Rapid City. New parking meters accepting credit and debit cards open more spots to more people.

Over a 60 day period- three different smart meters are available at the downtown parking garage and 6th and St. Joseph Street in Rapid City. Along with easier pay, the new meters give parking enforcement a way to track the amount of people that come in and out of the garage.

"The new technology is going to tell us occupancy levels, they all have sensors attached to the meters so we know if that space has had 8 cars through that space throughout the day or if one person has parked in that space all day long and fed the meter," says Cathy Bock, with the Rapid City Police Department.

While it's easier to pay - it's also easier to get a ticket for outlasting your meter. Parking enforcement officers are testing new technology during this trial period- which could mean more tickets for you.

"With the software technology these companies provide, our parking staff can look at that app or that software solution to see that there's expired meters at a certain location," says Bock.

Even with the treat of more tickets - the ease of using a card is worth it for most people who shop, work or enjoy spending time downtown.

"I spend a lot of time downtown and I enjoy coming downtown especially with all the new development and I wouldn't always have quarters so I would be scrambling to find a place to get cash or whatever and having the opportunity and the option to use a debit or credit card in the meters would be very handy," says Carmen Hansen a Rapid City resident.

The new meters will not keep card information. For those without a credit or debit card - you can still use coins to operate the meters.