Meter Maid

Meter Maid

Meter-Made

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

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Last Answer on September 05, 2013

Best Rated

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

Asked by micahStL over 6 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.

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 6 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.

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

Asked by PLASTICS!!! over 6 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 find being a meter maid emotionally fulfilling? Do you have career aspirations beyond your current role?

Asked by portia over 6 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.

Do meter maids have ticket quotas you need to reach each month?

Asked by brickhouz over 6 years ago

We do not have a quota. We do have a performance standard that we have to attain to show that we are actually out there working. The city has calculated the average ticket number in every area in the city, and officers assigned to these zones should be getting roughly the same amount as their counterparts on different shifts.

If a parking meter is out of order but the spot is empty, can I still park in that spot? And if so, how should I pay, if at all?

Asked by Steve Almighty over 6 years ago

If you are parked at an actual parking meter (not a pay and display machine) and it it out of order, you will more than likely get a ticket. In Toronto, the bylaw clearly states that no one should park next to a broken meter. If you are parked near a pay and display machine, and it is not in working order, the same rule applies, but you may use any machine on that given street to purchase a receipt. If you are on a street that only has one pay and display machine, it might be best to find parking elsewhere. There really is no such thing as free parking in larger cities like Toronto, so when in doubt, don't park there at all. We are not responsible for maintaining the machines, therefore it is hard for us to notice that a meter or a pay and display machine is broken. If you have received a ticket because of a broken meter or pay and display machine there is now an online dispute process (http://www.toronto.ca/pay-toronto-tickets/disputes.htm). Unfortunately this process is not yet available for any other infractions.

If we didn't use our tax money to pay for meter maids couldn't we use that money instead to provide free parking?

Asked by Jason almost 6 years ago

Your tax paying dollars don't actually pay for our salaries. We pay our own salaries with the revenue we make from issuing parking tickets.