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Another piece of unfinished business for new San Diego mayor Bob Filner: deciding what kind of expensive new-fangled solar-powered, radio-controlled parking meters to buy. “The City still has approximately 4,700 single space parking meters that accept coin and City of San Diego prepaid parking cards only,” according to a request for proposal sent out by the old Sanders administration on November 7. “The City is interested in replacing these single space parking meters with a combination of single space and multi space meters that accept coin, credit/debit/smart cards, are solar powered and operate on a wireless network.”

Adds the request, “It is highly desirable that the meter also accept ‘contact-less’ (aka ‘tap’) technology card readers for integration with the San Diego Compass Card as well as pay-by-mobile phone capabilities.

“The meter must use solar power in combination with rechargeable/back-up battery to provide on-going power. The parking meters must all be wirelessly networked providing the City with real-time meter information including but not limited to operational status, revenue, use, battery life, and malfunctions. Contractor must provide web based back office that requires no additional customer software other than the Internet.” The dream system must also “be capable of recognizing the arrival and departure of parking vehicles and generating and transmitting a real-time status of the parking space availability and utilization.”

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