Payment within the site

This is common in many places where a pay-and-display machine is located in a central place, or in large sites where several machines can be distributed. Honesty ratings may be low unless they are controlled, but the operating costs of such machines can also be low.

Payment within the site

A diagram to show how a vehicle-signing layout should be prepared. At each place where a sign is needed the exact information is worked out in the correct orientation. This plan is given to sign makers and to those responsible for installing and maintaining the signs.

While payment might seem desirable in order to help pay for the maintenance of the site, there are several issues that need to be addressed. First, ticket machines have to be emptied regularly, especially in locations where theft is known to occur. This requires staff to carry out collection and ticket replenishment. Second, there is the cost of checking on levels of payment compliance, and the difficulty that most operators might have in enforcing a fine or seeking payment of the parking fee. Even where rangers are law enforcement officers, as they are in some national parks, the adverse reaction from visitors caused by attempts to extract payment can outweigh the benefits. Third, the machines have to be maintained and kept in working order. The extent of this depends on the choice of machine.

Electrically operated ticket machines need power on site, from mains, battery or solar power. If this is possible they could be the better choice as they can print out a ticket with time and date recorded, which may be useful for management purposes. They also take a range of coin sizes, and can be calibrated for different lengths of period per payment level.

Mechanically operated machines will work on sites without electricity, relying on the action of the coins falling and the push of a button to activate the dispenser. One rate of payment based on a single coin or combination of coins gives out a set ticket. This means that one payment is made whatever the duration of the visit, thus deterring short-term visitors from paying. The machine is easier to maintain, as it is robust and has no complicated timers to adjust.