York City's downtown parking meters are bare again, no longer host to helmets of credit card-accepting technology.

But the solar- and battery-powered devices might return next year.

Cheryl Rascoe, who heads the city's parking bureau, will recommend in July that York should include the purchase of "smart" meters in the city's 2014 budget.

Whether that happens or not is up to the General Authority, which owns the city's parking garages and meters.

Rascoe said Wednesday that she's still working out the details of her proposal -- for example, how many meters to purchase and which company to buy from.

But there's definitely an advantage to upgrading the city's downtown parking options, Rascoe said.

She's basing that opinion on the results of multi-month trial period that started in April.

The test run: For about 70 days, motorists who parked in the first blocks of George and Market streets around Continental Square could swipe their Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express cards instead of plugging the meters with loose change.

"I thought that they were well received," Rascoe said. "Citizens seemed to like them."

Two companies volunteered their products for the trial. The experiment cost the city nothing.

Rascoe said she couldn't share too much detail of her pending proposal. She's still sorting through the data collected between April and June, such as how many people used the meters and for how long.


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"We're trying to compare apples with apples," she said.

The decision is in the hands of the General Authority, which submits its annual budget to the mayor and York City Council for approval each year.

Rascoe will make her recommendation at the authority's next meeting at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 18, at City Hall, 101 S. George St. The meeting is open to the public.

-- Erin James may also be reached at ejames@yorkdispatch.com.