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The parking meter you'll love

New PVM parking meter will allow for payment by credit card and extra minutes without having to return to your car.

By Davina Attar, Business 2.0 Magazine

(Business 2.0) -- Few of us would expect to get rich selling parking meters. But meters generate hundreds of millions of dollars for cities every year, and since 50 percent of parking fines go unpaid, according to one San Francisco study, city halls are on the lookout for a more convenient - and effective - kind of meter.

That's exactly what Fred Mitschele is offering. Not only does his Photo Violation Meter allow you to swipe a credit card rather than hunt for quarters, but it will also call your cell phone when your time is up and give you the option of putting additional minutes on the meter without having to return to your car.

Photo Violation Meter: allows for extra minutes without returning to your car

"It really restores fairness to the whole system," says Mitschele, CEO of Photo Violation Technologies, based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mitschele has partnered with IBM (Charts, Fortune 500) to finance a $1 million trial. About 300 PVMs are currently installed in Niagara Falls, San Francisco, and Vancouver.

If all goes well and the cities buy the PVM when the trial ends in July 2008, Mitschele anticipates making as much as $200 million in five years. Scofflaws, beware: If you fail to pay, the PVM will snap a photo of your license plate.  Top of page

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