The city began installing 21 new parking pay stations in the Brady Arts District on Monday.
The system will be set up to “pay by plate,” meaning the user will enter the vehicle’s license plate number into a pay station.
The user will also enter a zone number, which identifies the area in which the vehicle is parked.
The zone numbers will be listed along the street and near parking pay stations.
Under the system, motorists will not be limited to parking in a specific parking space but will be able to park anywhere within the zone.
The pay stations are solar-powered and self-sustaining and include on-screen instructions for users. They will be in an area roughly surrounded by Main, Archer and Cameron streets, and Elgin Avenue.
“We hope to eventually replace all of our existing meters with these parking stations,” city spokeswoman Michelle Brooks said.
“Of course, we don’t have the funding right now, but we hope to replace our existing meters (throughout downtown) as funding becomes available.”
The new parking stations are being installed following a testing period that began in 2015 in which equipment from three parking vendors was used.
At the end of the pilot period in 2016, the city selected the Parkeon StradaPal pay station.
The cost of each pay station is $6,300, which includes installation and a year of service and maintenance by the vendor, Brooks said.
The city expects that installation of the Brady Arts District pay stations will take a few weeks. An operational launch date is set for May 15.
Staff will be on site the week of the launch to help users if needed.
The machines will accept credit cards and coins for payment.
Later this year, the city will incorporate a phone number and a mobile app for users to pay for parking by credit card without manually entering information at a pay station.
Once launched, the mobile application will be available for users outside of the Brady Arts District, as well, the city said in a news release.
Metered parking downtown is enforced from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with the exception of holidays. The rate is $1 per hour.
Citations for parking range from $25 for an expired meter/pay station to $500 for handicap violations.