While the days of 25-cent-an-hour parking at the Honolulu Zoo are long gone, the new digital meters have turned out to be a rather positive change. Mostly, because they take more than just change. Drivers can pay by credit card and phone as well.

The bright-blue meters seem to be really high-tech for Oahu’s parking situation. For as long as I can remember, we’ve always fed those cruddy metal meters or pushed our monies into the wooden box at the mouth of the lot. These digital meters aren’t only more convenient when it comes to paying but eco-friendly as well. The meters are powered by the sun.

It costs $1 for an hour of parking, which is not at all expensive, but you just can’t beat those 25-cent days. The lot is also opened 24/7, so if you’d rather not pay the hotel parking, you could park your rental car here for less than $10 overnight.

Using it is pretty self-explanatory; however, it did cause some confusion when first installed in 2010. You punch in your license plate number and pay with cash, coins or credit card. A receipt spits out indicating the time your parking expires; it doesn’t have to be displayed on your dashboard, like some parking lots require.

Surfers who frequent Waikiki breaks love that they can pay for more than what used to be a two-hour maximum. I remember having to paddle in mid-way through a sesh to feed the meter. The worst was when you’re forced to scrounge around your car for change before realizing you don’t have enough. That always meant having to unneccessarily buy something from the ABC Store before paddling back out to the line-up! I definitely won’t be missing those days!


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