PPA Puts Smart Cards Out to Pasture

A nugget of Philly technology is going the way of the Walkman, rotary telephone, Beta tapes, pet rocks, TurboGrafx 16 and phone booths.

Those little smart chip cards some of you have been using for years to park in the city are becoming obsolete.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority announced today that they will stop the sale of Smart Card this spring before stopping the use of the cards at the end of the year.

The PPA Smart Cards came about in 2001 “as a convenient alternative to coins for use in parking meters,” according to the PPA.

But with the widespread use of kiosk parking now in use the cards have become less needed.

"With the installation of over 1,000 kiosks throughout the city that accept credit cards, the demand for Smart Cards has dropped dramatically. Based on the high per-card production cost, combined with its near-obsolescence, we decided to end the Smart Card program," Deputy Executive Director Corrine O'Connor said.

The PPA will stop selling the cards on May 30 before phasing out the cards entirely by Dec. 31.

Parking kiosks will continue to accept cash and credit.

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