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Driver complains parking pay station rules unclear

Driver got a ticket after using paid parking time in 2 locations

SAN ANTONIO – Having seen a story about parking pay stations a couple years ago, KSAT employee Tony Castro said he thought navigating downtown parking would be pretty easy.
   
"I remember them saying that the best of it is (that) it's flexible," Castro said. "It allows you to transfer the money you've paid with your vehicle instead of it being near the meter, near the physical meter. It stays with your car."

At his first stop, he said he purchased eight hours at the pay station, but didn't stay long before heading to the childrens' museum.

"I parked in one pay station at one area of town, got a sticker, (then) was going to move to another area of town," Castro said.

Castro said he had only been parked at the second location for 20 minutes when he was ticketed, even though the parking sticker on the windshield showed he had several hours left.

"It had little comments on the ticket. It said that it was invalid use of a meter," Castro said.

When Castro called the city, he said he got several different responses.

Castro ended up disputing his ticket with a judge who lowered the fine from $30 to $10, but maintained Castro was in the wrong by using his prepaid ticket to park in other spots.

"It's on the ticket and it's on our website. If you buy into a two-hour (parking pass), if there's time left, you can go to another location," said Deputy Director of City Center Development and Operations Jim Mery.

The maximum meter time varies from one-10 hours, so as long as the meter allows, you can use the remaining time.

For example: if you have three hours left from a 10 hour meter, you can only use up to two of those hours at a two-hour maximum meter.

"We've not heard of an issue before, but we're glad to get that word out, add to our website, Facebook, all the different ways," Mery said.

It was on the website and has since been further clarified to alleviate any future confusion.

Mery also sent this statment: "Thankyou for bringing the citation to our attention. The citation should not have been issued to the customer, as it is our policy to allow people to use remaining time at another pay station. We are clarifying the policy for all stakeholders. The city is going to issue a refund to the customer for fines paid, in the amount of $10."