What was a welcome respite for many is no longer as paid parking resumes at Honolulu Zoo.
The city hired a new vendor, Republic Parking Northwest, to manage the lot, and it started collecting parking fees Wednesday.
New electronic pay machines will have to be installed. The company tells KHON2 it will take about two weeks to do so.
For now, workers are collecting the money as drivers enter the lot.
“Making sure that we’re writing down how much they’re collecting the time and we have another staff member making sure that people aren’t going over their time,” said regional manager Denny Williams.
There will also be no parking at night until the machines are in place, because the company feels it’s not safe to have staff there collecting money late at night.
After 8 p.m., there will be no one to collect the money but that doesn’t mean parking is free. Someone will be roaming around through the night to see if cars are parked illegally.
“In the past I’ve found enough street parking, so it just might take a little more time, but eventually I can make it work,” said driver Stephanie Rizzo-Murray.
The price will be kept at one dollar per hour with a limit of four hours. The city says the limit is meant to discourage area workers from using the lot.
That’s not sitting well with workers who, in the past, were able to just add more money to the machine after four hours.
“That doesn’t make sense to me. People who go to the zoo, what if they want to spend the day doing a family activity? Then you have to go back just because there’s a four-hour limit. I think that’s kind of silly,” said area worker Brittany Barba.
The new company says when the machines are installed, drivers will actually have to leave the lot after they’ve reached the four-hour limit.
The new pay machines will also take coins along with bills and credit cards. The previous machines did not take coins.
While the lot was supposed to close down at 8 p.m. Wednesday it was left open until midnight. People wanting to park in the lot past 8 p.m. had to pay a dollar for each hour.