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#TBT: SmartCard Edition

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SmartcardBack in 2003, we introduced SmartCards as the the most convenient parking payment option in Philadelphia.

The concept was simple and, well, smart. Instead of fumbling around in your pockets for loose change, you could just pay our meters or kiosks with a preloaded SmartCard (pictured to the left) and be on your merry way.

You’re probably thinking, “Well, how is that any different than a credit or debit card?” Fair point, but credit and debit cards were only accepted at our parking kiosks when they became available. Before that, the only way to pay for parking was with coins at our meters.  SmartCards, on the other hand, worked on our meters even before kiosks were installed. Admittedly, there were some initial hiccups along the way, as is often the case when implementing new technology. But with some perseverance, the SmartCard hung around for nearly 11 years, allowing visitors to pay on both our meters and kiosks.

Fast forward to May 2014: With new payment options becoming available, we decided to discontinue SmartCards. (If you had one after May 2014, our meters and kiosks still accepted them as payment until December 31st, 2014.) It was a long run, but we decided it was best to check out better, smarter payment options for parkers.

Fast forward again to November 2015: Roughly a year after discontinuing SmartCards, we introduced meterUP, our mobile payment app specifically tailored for the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection. Currently, meterUP is only available in a select pilot area, but stay tuned for a city-wide rollout! For more information about meterUP, check out these FAQs or watch the helpful video below.


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