New coins causing headaches at Winnipeg meters
New loonies and toonies are causing problems for people using coin-operated parking meters in Winnipeg.
Some of the machines are not accepting the new coins, according to Colin Stewart, an official with the Winnipeg Parking Authority.
Stewart explained that the new coins have a different electro-magnetic signature than older ones. Because of that, they are falling into meters without registering.
Stewart said he does not know how long it will take to adjust the city's meters.
The new loonie is also expected to create headaches for owners of private vending machines. They too face the time-consuming and expensive task to reset coin acceptors, the device used by the machine to determine real coins from metal slugs.
Newer machines, introduced about six years ago, were designed to be reprogrammed fairly quickly, according to Don Rischuk of Vending Design Works in Winnipeg. "It's the older ones that are going to give you problems and there's millions of these machines around," he said. "
Rischuk estimated a technician may need up to an hour to reset a machine at a cost of about $65.
"That's just one machine," he said. "Think if you own a hundred machines. That's $6,500."
Rischuk noted that many vending machines can last a long time, even as technology -- and coinage -- changes.
"They're very robust," he said. "Basically, if you service them once in a while they will last forever."