A reader recently asked us to look into how Wellesley prices parking at meters downtown in light of her experience of getting 25 minutes of parking for her 2 dimes and nickel vs the 30 minutes she would have gotten if she’d deposited a quarter instead.
The reader wrote in part: “If I put an actual quarter in the meter, I get 30 minutes of time (reduced from an hour a while back, which is another story altogether). But if I happen to only have two dimes and a nickel, I only get 25 minutes. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying this keeps me up at night, it always leaves me irritated at the meter…”
Here’s an explanation of the parking prices, via Terry Connolly, Deputy Director for the town of Wellesley:
The cost is $.50 per hour using Quarters.
Many meters only accept quarters, but we thought some people might want to use nickels or dimes. Nickels and dimes get face value of minutes
Nickels = 5 mins
Dimes = 10 mins
If we used that same logic, then quarters would be worth 25 minutes, but rather, they get 30 mins.
That would make the meter rates = $.60 per hour. Typically hourly meter rates are $.25, $.50., $.75, or $1.00.
Typical coin values for meters with $.50 per hour are:
Quarters = 30 mins
Nickels = 6 mins
Dimes = 12 mins
We thought it would be confusing to add time in 6 and 12 minute increments but obviously there is no perfect solution.
Ultimately quarters give you more than the 25 minute face value. I try to focus on that.
You get number of minutes per the value of the coin and a bonus for quarters.
Meters all have a rate plate which contains the hours of operation on one side and the hourly rate including the time for each coin.
(Editor’s Note: There is a little grace period after your time runs out, but you don’t necessarily want to bank on that saving you from a ticket.)