Saturday April 19, 2014

Change brings complaints

Do you fear change?

Well, now you don’t have to — you can pay by credit card.

We’re talking about the new-fangled parking meters on downtown streets which went into
effect this week, of course.

The initial reviews are far from positive, with customers confused by having to locate a meter, remember their licence plate number and input it.

Seriously? That’s it?

For starters, remembering your licence plate is not the most onerous of tasks. In a world where phone numbers are 10 digits, remembering a series of six letters and numbers is fairly straightforward and a good thing to keep in mind — if your vehicle is ever stolen, for instance.

This is not unproven technology being tried out on unsuspecting guinea pigs in Kamloops, either — licence plate-based parking systems have been around for years. In fact, they’re not even new to Kamloops: anyone who has been to Kamloops Airport in the past year will be familiar with the system and will grow to appreciate the multiple advantages — the ability to pay by credit card rather than packing around coins, refreshing time without having to return to your vehicle, and transferable parking to any paid spot downtown.

What this all comes down to is a change to an established system — and that’s always going to bring complaints, whether the change is the best thing ever or a dud.

In 50 years, when the megacity of Kelonloops (formed from the merger of Kamloops, Vernon and Kelowna) introduces its new biometric ocular scan payment system for street parking your flying car, we’re sure there will be people complaining about how confusing the system is compared to the easy method of just plugging in your licence plate into the meter.

Of the three predictions in the above paragraph, we’re only certain about one — that people will complain. Sorry, but we’re just not ready to bank on flying cars yet.

We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by publisher Tim Shoults, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.

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