New Parking Pay Stations Accept Credit Cards

November 5, 2012 in News

Visitors to Sonoma County Regional Parks can now pay for day-use parking with credit cards. New parking pay stations that accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover Card were recently installed at Crane Creek, Helen Putnam, Maxwell Farms, Sonoma Valley, Riverfront and Sunset Beach regional parks.

Electronic pay stations also are coming online this month at Spring Lake, Ragle Ranch, Steelhead, Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach, Gualala Point, and Westside regional parks.

The units are replacing the older self-pay stations that require visitors to place cash in envelopes and drop them into collection boxes. By providing more convenient payment options, the new equipment is expected to increase compliance with parking rules and reduce the staff time spent collecting and reporting cash receipts.

In addition to accepting credit and debit cards, the parking machines take $1 and $5 bills. The units produce a receipt that drivers place on their dashboards, and the receipt is valid at any Regional Park on the day of purchase. The machines cannot process larger denominations or coins and cannot make change.

In August, Regional Parks contracted with VenTek International of Petaluma to buy and install the pay stations. When additional funding is available, pay stations are planned for Foothill, Hood Mountain, Pinnacle Gulch, Shiloh Ranch, Stillwater Cove and Tolay Lake regional parks, the Bird Walk Coastal Access Trail and Wohler Bridge.

Day-use parking is $7 at all Regional Parks. Frequent park users are encouraged to purchase an annual Regional Parks membership. Members receive unlimited day-use day use parking as well as a free night of camping, family admission at the Tolay Fall Festival, and discounts at outdoor-recreation retailers. Memberships are $69, $39 for people 60 and older and $23 for people with disabilities.

For more information, call Regional Parks at (707) 565-2041.

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