Rockville Centre, N.Y., is bringing back Parkeon's parking meters after a pilot last year, but is removing a feature that provides consumers with coupons to local merchants.

Parkeon's couponing parking meter "was the first of its kind, and while I do believe we need to find new ways to keep people shopping local while attracting visitors from other communities, the plain fact is residents and business owners did not like certain aspects of the system," says Julie Scully, spokeswomen for the Village of Rockville Centre.

About six months into the pilot, Mayor Francis Murray scrapped the project in response to complaints from both consumers and merchants.

The machines printed the coupons before printing the tickets consumers needed to display in their car windows to prove they paid for parking time. Because these coupons came out first and used the same kind of paper, many consumers would take the coupon and walk away before seeing the ticket, according to an article from the Long Island Herald in December 2013.

The couponing system "was designed to deliver relevant rewards to shoppers at the right moment and in the right place," Scully says. "For local businesses, this powerful new digital shopping channel would allow them to showcase relevant and appropriate merchant offers in a highly targeted way."

While the new Parkeon meters will not offer coupons, the city hopes to reinstate the feature in the future, Scully says.

The new meters also abandon the original pay-and-display feature that required users to place a ticket in their cars as proof of payment. Now, motorists park in a numbered parking spot, enter that number into the meter and pay with cash, Visa, MasterCard or the Parkmobile smartphone app. Consumers do not have to return to their cars to display a ticket.

"Parkeon has been instrumental in working with the Village to perfect these meters to keep our residents and businesses happy," Scully says. "They have listened to what they have had to say and addressed the issues."

MasterCard worked with Parkeon to deliver merchant offers during the earlier pilot.

"We continue to collaborate with Parkeon on several parking programs, including Rockville Centre," says Seth Eisen, senior business leader of corporate and public affairs communications at MasterCard. "The relationship includes multiple ways of providing greater convenience to consumers, from increased choices on how to pay for parking to a refresh of the rewards offers."

The new meters are being placed along Park Avenue in Rockville Centre. Scully says the project will be expanded once the city evaluates the pilot's success. 

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