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Pay For Just The Parking You Use With This New Device

Photo courtesy of OTI America

You know when you want to park somewhere but you don’t know how much money to put in the meter? You’re like, “Geez, I should err on the safe side and buy an hour’s worth of time.” But then you’re back in 30 minutes. Frustrating! 

This new device should help with that. It’s a pre-paid in-vehicle parking meter by OTI America called EasyPark. You buy one online and then plug it into your computer and add money to it.

Then, when you want to park, you put it in your window and it charges you in 15 minutes increments until you get back and turn it off. You don’t need to fiddle with those new parking pay stations or put that sticker in your window or anything like that. The device beeps every minute so you don’t forget to turn it off when you get back. Because if you forget, it will keep charging you.

I know what you’re thinking: How much is this pre-paid in-vehicle parking meter device? We called the company and asked. But they wouldn’t tell us. Supposedly, they’re still thinking about it.  

But when we asked if it would be closer to $20 or $200, OTI America spokesperson Galit Mendelson said, “In other projects we have, it’s closer to the first number that you mentioned.” The company's meters are already used in France, Italy, Israel and Bermuda. The Israeli firm entered the U.S. market in February when it was selected to run the electronic parking payment system at the University of California Davis.

The service won’t be available in Austin for about three or four months, Mendelson said.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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