The 2002 Charlotte Coin commemorates the 40th anniversary of Charlotte's sister city relationship with Arequipa, Peru.
Arequipa became Charlotte's first sister city in 1962. Arequipa, named the "Ciudad Blanca" (White City) because of its many beautiful buildings made of ashlar (Chechani's petrified volcanic ash), is nestled between the sea and the mountains in southern Peru.
Arequipa rests 2,336 meters above sea level on the foothills of three volcanoes -- Chechani, Pichu Pichu and Misti.
Park It! introduced the first Charlotte Coin in January 1999 as the validation tool for the Park! Center City program. The Charlotte Coin makes it more convenient and less expensive to visit Charlotte's Center City.
When patrons visit Center City businesses participating in the Park! Center City program, they receive a $1 Charlotte Coin that is accepted in parking meters and at participating parking lots and garages.
Citizens can use Park It! tokens on CATS buses and the LYNX Blue Line. Riders will be credited $1.00 after inserting the token into a bus fare box or train station ticket vending machine. Citizens will then be required to pay the difference to complete the fare and gain access to the service. For a list of CATS and LYNX fares, please visit www.ridetransit.org.
A commemorative edition of the 2002 Charlotte Coin is available in silver at a cost of $25. The commemorative coin weighs one troy ounce with a purity of 0.999 fine silver. Each coin bears its mint number on the edge and is encapsulated and boxed. Bi-metal tokens are also available at a cost of $1.
To purchase a special collector's edition of the 2002 Charlotte/Arequipa Coin in a commemorative gift casing, visit the Park It! office at 1440 South Tryon Street or charge by phone by calling Park It! at 704-375-3177.