Meter Maid

Meter Maid


Toronto, ON

Female, 30

I currently work as a Parking Enforcement Officer in the wonderful city of Toronto. I am feared, and loathed by all. I may not work in your particular city, but I'm positive that I can help give you a better understanding of what Meter Maids do. I am knowledgeable in all parking matters so ask me anything.

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103 Questions


Last Answer on September 05, 2013

Best Rated

Are there times when you can't decide whether to give a ticket because you're going back and forth on whether or not it's actually deserved because of confusing signs or something?

Asked by M1ke over 8 years ago

There have been many instances where I feel conflicted about giving out a ticket. This usually happens in areas where construction was once taking place. Once construction is over, the city rushes to put signs back up and can sometimes put up conflicting or insufficient signage. In one particular area there is one sign that reads "no standing" with arrows pointing in both directions at the very top of the street. No other signs exist on that street. This is not only conflicting for me, but also for motorists who want to park there. I personally choose to avoid ticketing on that entire side of the street, but other officers have no problem doing so. Technically the officer is justified in doing so, but it's a judgement call on the part of the officer.

If I get a parking ticket but the sign was not visible (blocked by a tree, spraypainted over, or something similar), can I appeal it?

Asked by N8 over 8 years ago

You have the right to appeal any ticket you receive, including parking tickets. I an understand that a lot of the signs are old, worn down, or even obstructed at times and therefore I recommend that you do exercise your right to a trial in these cases. Every ticket that an officer will write will also include evidence that they include at the time of the offence, and therefore it is up to you to come up with evidence that will support you. Your only option is to take photos at the time of the incident of the obstructed signs. I also suggest that these pictures be date stamped in order to further assist you. It is up to the Justice of the Peace to accept them or not in court. Also bear in mind that sometimes there are other signs ahead or behind your vehicle that may not be obstructed. My best advice to all drivers is to be aware of EVERY sign in the vicinity of your parking spot. When it doubt, don't park there.

How much parking ticket revenue does the city of Toronto bring in on an average weekday?

Asked by Tubro over 8 years ago

Every day varies for a meter maid, and the time of year also makes a huge difference for us. The number of tickets written in the summer is probably higher than a day in the winter. This is because more people are driving, there are more events going on and a lot more tourists. Weekends can also be more lucrative for us because there tends to be more going on around the city. It's very hard to estimate the daily revenue from the tickets we write, and there are a number of reasons why: some people don't pay their tickets until they go to renew their plates, some choose to take their tickets to court, and furthermore some ticket's get withdrawn. The amount of revenue we make on an annual basis actually gets published for everyone to see. In 2011 it was estimated somewhere in the millions. I don't remember the exact amount but I will look into it further and report back to you.

What do you do if you set off a car alarm while placing a ticket on someone's windshield?

Asked by Ghostride66 over 8 years ago

There's not too much I can do except place the ticket on the windshield. Car alarms go off all the time. People even intentionally set off their alarms in order to scare us, and or show that they are coming back to their vehicle. If an alarm does happen to go off based on the fact that I am placing a ticket on it, I go on my way and hope that the alarm will eventually turn itself off.

Was there ever a time where someone begged you not to write them a ticket and you did anyway, but later you felt really guilty about it? Like maybe you realized they had a valid point?

Asked by jaaaaaake over 8 years ago

We all have things to do and places to be, and I understand how difficult it can be to find a parking spot sometimes. I also have a job to do, and if someone is late, or has parked illegally to run in to a store for "a minute" I have to ticket them. I feel bad for issuing tickets to people on a regular basis. This is especially true when I have ticketed an elderly person or a young mother who is trying to juggle three kids while running back to her car. I have also had instances where disabled people have parked in a rush hour route and I have towed, or almost towed their car away. I still have a job to do whether or not I feel bad for people. I have to try to stay objective, and not let my conscience get in the way.

Why aren't all meters electronic at this point? Who the hell carries change anymore?

Asked by PLASTICS!!! over 8 years ago

The funny thing is meter maids don't have anything to do with the actual pay machines. We are only there to enforce the parking bylaws.Traditional parking meters are very rare now, and only a handful still exist in Toronto. The main pay system we deal with are "pay and display" machines, where you purchase time with change or a credit card and display the receipt on your dashboard. The city is in charge of the machines and their maintenance. A lot of cities are turning to electronic forms of payment, so I'm sure every major city will eventually go that route.

Do you use "the boot"? How on earth is that legal? What if a car is given the boot mistakenly and that driver has an emergency, like he needs to drive to the hospital or something?

Asked by I heart handicap spots over 8 years ago

The use of a boot is not legal in the city of Toronto. There have been instances where private security companies have used them on private property, but they are currently under investigation and/or facing charges. I think the main use of the boot is to collect fines from those individuals who continuously park illegally and leave their tickets unpaid. I can't really answer your question about emergency situations because I not familiar with the procedures involved with booting a vehicle.