After a test run conducted over the last several years, the City of Columbus Department of Public Service decided to upgrade all 4,800 parking meters in Columbus to accept credit and debit cards in addition to coins. Those who could never find a quarter rejoiced.
Starting in mid-September, the department began installing the upgraded meters in the Discovery District, around the Columbus College of Art & Design and Columbus State campuses, and in the Hilltop. In addition, some of the meters that had already been upgraded were replaced with newer models with a larger screen. These meters are located in the Short North, the Arena District and around the North Market.
"These meters were selected after a pilot program along East Gay Street in 2009," said Rick Tilton, Assistant Director, Department of Public Service. "Motorists gave positive feedback on the feature that allowed them the convenience of paying for parking using a credit or debit card. For this reason, and because the City needed to replace its aging meter fleet at the time, the decision was made to upgrade all the old-style coin meters with new smart meters."
The good news is that those looking to park downtown will now have a number of options for feeding the meter. In addition to coins, credit and debit cards, pre-paid parking cards from the City of Columbus are available for purchase.
By year's end, all of the approximately 4,900 parking meters in Columbus will be upgraded to smart meters.