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

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

Asked by Tubro over 11 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until they go to renew their plates, some choose to take their tickets to court, and furthermore some ticket's get withdrawn.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.

Do you carry a weapon? Have you ever had to use it?

Asked by barry over 11 years ago

Parking officers don't carry any weapons in the city of Toronto. To the best of my knowledge they never have.

Do you find being a meter maid emotionally fulfilling? Do you have career aspirations beyond your current role?

Asked by portia over 11 years ago

I don't think anyone wishes to be a meter maid when they grow up. Neither do I. I simply see this job as a stepping stone for a future in law enforcement. In Toronto, the Parking Enforcement Unit is part of the Toronto Police Service, and therefore a great way to gain an internal role within the service. I don't know if any of my coworkers find this job emotionally fulfilling, as I find it quite draining. This job is simply a job. Parking Officers are required in order to ensure that traffic flows safely and to answer the parking complaints of the public. It can be fulfilling at times, when you help someone remove an unwanted vehicle from their property, or clear obstructions to their driveway, but we're not exactly saving the world either.

Is it easy to make and print fake parking meter slips to put on your dashboard? That seems pretty easy. Is forgery a big problem in Toronto, and are you trained to spot fakes?

Asked by goleafs over 11 years ago

I would be pretty difficult to spot a forgery on a pay and display receipt, simply because we don't actually get to see them up close. I have seen people try to use receipts from previous years, months etc. but fake slips have never seemed to be an issue in Toronto. I feel that it would be easy to spot a fake, simply because they might miss a vital piece of information that is on a slip, like the day of the year or the street that it was purchased from. Whoever has the patience to sit and make a slip for every area they will be visiting in a day would have a lot of spare time on their hands. It would take more effort to make a forgery than it would to spend a couple of dollars to park on a city street.

What parking rule do you personally find ridiculous, even though it's your job to enforce it?

Asked by micahStL over 11 years ago

There are numerous parking bylaws in existence. There are a handful that we actually enforce on a regular basis. There are two really ridiculous parking bylaws that technically can be enforced, but we choose not to. The first is displaying a `for sale` sign in your parked vehicle on city streets. The second is washing your car on city streets as well. I`m sure there was a reason for these byalws long ago, but like I said, we choose not to enforce them. I`m sure there are other ridiculous bylaws, but I can`t seem to think of anymore at the moment.

If the meter is broken, why can't I park for free? If you're saying we shouldn't park in spaces where the meter is broken, isn't that just a clear waste of a space? I don't understand that policy at all.

Asked by Brent over 11 years ago

I don't know why that rule is in place, you would have to take that up with your city councilors. The main issue is that people assume that if a pay machine is broken they get free parking. In reality, they can walk a few paces down the street and use the next available machine. Of course, this can only happen with pay and display machines and on a street that has more than one machine. I'm sure that a lot of people feel the same way you do, hence the creation of the online dispute process.

What happens if my car is issued a ticket, but through no fault of my own, the ticket disappears before I even see it (wind blows it away, someone else removes it, etc)? How does that play out legally?

Asked by woosh!!! about 11 years ago

This happens more often than you think. If a ticket is issued to your license plate you will always receive a notice in the mail (where your car is registered to) telling you that you have an outstanding ticket and your options for either paying the fine, or setting a court date. It is still a legal ticket and you will have to decide whether to pay or fight it. If you don't do either and leave the fine outstanding, it could come back to haunt you when you go to renew your plates. There have been times where people receive notices in the mail for outstanding tickets, when they haven't actually ever been to that address. If this is the case then there might be an error on the officers part, (by messing up on the license plate) and you should go to a first appearance facility to straighten it out.