Here's why 'smart' parking meters in the urban core aren't working

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A programming mistake caused problems for the city's "smart" parking meters in the urban core Monday.

The city installed 1,050 of the solar-powered devices in areas including Chinatown, Downtown and Waikiki.

A number of parking meters near the Downtown post office, Iolani Palace and on Mililani Street weren't working.

Some displayed the message "Free Parking," and wouldn't give users credit when they put money in.

"I'm not sure if it's a fluke or not so I put my (credit) card in there, pull it out, and it still says 'free parking.' So I'm taking a chance, but it's not accepting my money, my payment," said driver Clayton Arakaki who parked at the Downtown post office lot.

Other meters appeared to be working properly.

The city said the meters weren't working because the program's vendor accidentally programmed Monday as a holiday.

Officials said the correction needs to be pushed from the company's main office in San Diego to the meters when the devices periodically "check in."

They expect the problem to be fixed by noon on November 7.

The city has spent about $2 million so far of a contract executed in 2013, according to officials.

The city is currently installing 1,000 additional smart parking meters in Honolulu's urban core.

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