Charleston completes SmartCard parking meter upgrades, does giveaway

Image by TheDigitel The old meters are expired. Hail the SmartCard.

After kicking off conversion of the city's coin-fed parking meters to ones equipped with SmartCard readers, as of this month the City of Charleston has converted all 1,840 of its meters. To mark the occasion the city will be giving away 100 of the cards.

Read more stories on this subject in our SmartCard topic page.See the cards work like little debit cards allowing you to insert them into parking meters and pay for only how long you need to park (up to the maximum meter time, naturally) but it usually costs $5 to purchase the card.

Well the city is going to give away one free to the first 100 people who visit the Charleston Visitor Center Gift Shop at 375 Meeting Street and agree to load at least $5 on the card -- the city will then toss on another $3 in credit.

The spot will start selling them on Wednesday, June 23, at 1 p.m.

Oh and the visitor center will now be the second spot to buy and recharge your card, in addition to the existing spot at the Department of Traffic and Transportation, 180 Lockwood Boulevard.

I've had one of the cards for a few weeks now and they're very much worth it if you ever find yourself using meters in town -- just max out the meters time and get a refund for what you don't use, and no more stressing about coming back 5 minutes too late. And that's without getting into the nastiness of digging under my car's floor matts. 

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