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ATLANTA -- There are more than a thousand single-space parking meters in Atlanta. And with rates at 2-dollars an hour in some places, it used to be you'd need a pocketful of change just to make sure you didn't get a ticket.

"There's a store around the corner," explained Econuel Ingram as he got ready to pay one of the downtown meters. "I got to stop, go around the corner, find the ATM, get some change, come back around."

Ingram knows the drill well. But Wednesday evening he spotted something different about the meter: A place to use a credit or debit card.

"I thought it was going to be a hassle," he said. "But this is pretty quick."

And that's precisely the reaction the city and PARKatlanta were hoping for when they began installing the new meters a couple of weeks ago.

"It's a lot more convenient," said Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza. "You don't have to look for the central meter; you don't have to wait in line; you don't have to look for signs. The meter's right there by the spot. You've got change, great. It will take change. If you don't have change, you can use your debit card your charge card."

The new meters are a response to the city's new parking bill of rights nd are designed to be user-friendly.

"You'll slide your credit card into the machine," demonstrated Anderson Moore, the VP of Operations for Duncan Solutions, the company behind PARKatlanta. The second step is you'll increase or decrease the amount of time you'd like to park."

After that you can cancel with the red button or proceed with the green button on the touch-pad.

"It's been really, really well received," Anderson said. "We've seen probably a 60% debit card usage versus 40% with coin. So I think those numbers speak to the success of the technology so far."

And that's why it gets the Econuel Ingram stamp of approval.

"Easy to use; consumer friendly. It's all good."

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