Author Topic: Token driven away  (Read 2315 times)

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Online Figleaf

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Token driven away
« on: November 04, 2008, 04:32:46 PM »
Garden State Parkway tokens to become a thing of the past
Published: Tuesday, November 04, 2008, By THOMAS BARLAS Staff Writer, 609-272-7201

Here's the checklist for your next visit to the National Museum of American History:
Ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz."
The contents of Julia Child's kitchen.
A draft of the Gettysburg Address.
Garden State Parkway tokens.

Well, maybe not right away for the last one. However, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority sent a dozen of the tokens - which will no longer be accepted on the parkway as of Jan. 1 - to the Smithsonian Institution-run museum in Washington, D.C., on Monday. The tokens were dispatched to the museum after turnpike authority officials thought they would check with Smithsonian officials to see if they were interested in having some.
"They agreed," authority spokesman Joseph Orlando said.
Orlando acknowledged only a small percentage of the museum's collection is on display, so he doesn't think the tokens will wind up next to the Hope Diamond display anytime soon.
"At some point, they might be on display," he said.
The tokens were accompanied by a brochure that was distributed when the tokens went on sale in 1988. Tokens also have been sent to the official state archives and the American Numismatic Society.

The tokens, which were sold as part of a discount toll operation, were a success in their day: Motorists bought about $2 billion worth of them from 1988 to the end of 2001, the last year they were sold. There were about 50 million of them in 2001. Orlando said the turnpike authority estimates there are about 5 million of the tokens still in circulation.

As the sun sets on the tokens, the turnpike authority is giving token holders one last chance during December to turn the tokens in for cash. That can be done in southern New Jersey at the Forked River service area at milepost 76 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 15, 17 and 19.
The token redemption program stipulates:
A minimum of 15 tokens for $5.
Redemption in multiples of 3 tokens.
A maximum of 4,500 tokens. Anyone wanting to redeem more than 4,500 should call 732-750-5473 for details.
A maximum cash redemption of $30 for 90 tokens. Checks will be issued to people cashing in more than 90 tokens. The processing time for checks is about four weeks.

Orlando said the turnpike authority doesn't expect to get anywhere near the 5 million tokens still in circulation. He said many tokens probably are lost or "stuck somewhere in the bottom of drawers." As for the turned-in tokens, they're meeting a rather unglamorous end.
"We're melting them down for scrap," Orlando said.

Source: Press of Atlantic City
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Online Figleaf

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Re: Token driven away
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 02:57:22 AM »
Meter tokens may return to borough

BY SCOT ANDREW PITZER, Wednesday, March 18, 2009 8:30 AM EDT

Meter tokens may return in Gettysburg, nearly two years after the borough government ended the popular parking program.

The program was discontinued because the tokens were too difficult to sort and count, among other reasons.

“They were phased out years ago, for reasons that were not clear to me,” says Councilman Michael J. Birkner.

Originally sold for 10 cents a piece, tokens traditionally earned a motorist 20 minutes of downtown parking.

But that was before Borough Council’s controversial rate hike in 2007-08. Meter tolls were boosted to $1 an hour, and the hourly fare at the Rate Horse Alley Parking Deck was hiked to 75 cents an hour.

Now, diminishing parking revenues — and complaints from motorists — have pushed the token debate back to the forefront.

“It’s always an option to put back onto the table,” Borough Finance Director Ramona Overton says regarding the tokens.

Despite the rate increase, meter revenues came out even in 2008, at the budgeted amount of $431,000. However, receipts at the Race Horse Alley Parking Deck, owned an operated by the borough, finished the year $88,00 below budget.

 “When I moved to Gettysburg, parking tokens were available,” says Councilman Birkner. “They seemed to be a middle ground. We do need the revenue, we’re strapped. But if we can encourage people to park downtown, that’s a good thing.”

The borough no longer sells the coins, which were a popular business incentive. Downtown merchants gave the coins away to customers to encourage patronage.

“People do miss those tokens,” says Councilwoman Alice Estrada “They were a good PR program.”

There are many reasons why the token program was discontinued, according to officials.

“As rates for parking went up over the years,” says Overton, “the tokens never did.”

Also, new meters were installed about three years ago, and they were not equipped to handle the tokens.

“Our meters are electronic,” says Borough Manager John D. Lawver Jr. “We could do it. We’d have to buy the license and re-program it.”

The decision to discontinue the token program was made with a flurry of other parking related changes.

In 2006-07, Borough Council furloughed six employees to balance the budget and avoid raising taxes. As part of the budget cuts, the borough’s parking department was eliminated.

Later that year, the municipality hired a Harrisburg based company to tally meter revenues: N.F. String & Son. The company, as well as many other coin counting firms, charged an extra fee to process non-American currency, so the borough quit selling the tokens.

 The following year, Borough Council voted to outsource fines and meter processing to a Wisconsin based agency. But the move never panned out, for unknown reasons, as parking fine processing is still handled by the municipality.

Source: Gettysburg Times
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Token driven away
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 07:28:49 PM »
Or if you are in Hawaii....


Online Figleaf

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Re: Token driven away
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 11:17:08 AM »
Coins come back to Atlantic City
By Nora Muchanic

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - April 8, 2009 - (WPVI) -- One casino is going retro, and that means the sound of clanking coins once more in Atlantic City.

Like the Miss America Pageant and a five cent jitney ride, coin slot machine in Atlantic City have gone by the wayside, replaced by electronic machines with recorded sound and paper vouchers.

But Atlantic City's first casino, Resorts, has decided to bring some of the old coin machines back, betting they'll be a hit.

"The sound of those coins hitting the tray really do add to the winning feeling, add a lot of the excitement of the game," siad Chris Downer, the director of slot operations.

Some gamblers Action News talked to couldn't agree more.

"The clinking and all that... I don't know, you feel like you're playing for real," said Sonia Segreto of Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey.

"That's the thrill of it. With the paper, you really don't hear anything. With the coins, it makes you feel like you hit a little bit," said Tom Orlando of Glenolden, Pa.

Resorts has installed eight of the coin slot machines to test them out, and so far they seem to be popular. If they go over well, the casino plans to install more.

"I missed the coins, even though you get your hands dirty," said Pat Bayless of Hamilton Square, New Jersey. "But it's so much more fun to have a bucket of coins to go cash in."

The retro machine will never replace electronic slots, which are much easier to maintain.

But, gamblers at Resorts are having great fun taking a little step back to the way it was when casinos first started here.

Source: 6ABC
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 11:20:17 AM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.