New parking meters that will accept credit cards and smart cards will be installed downtown in January, CARTA officials said Thursday.
There will be 40 new multi-space meters and 600 new single-pole meters, Brent Matthews, parking director, said.
He said the meters will cover some 900 downtown parking spots.
Mr. Matthews said they will be placed along Broad Street, Market Street and other main thoroughfares. The current style meters will continue to be used in less-traveled areas, he said.
All of the new meters are solar powered. The older-style meters are hard wired into the electric system.
Mr. Matthews said downtown parking smart cards should be ready by summer. He said those using the cards can pay to pre-load them with a specific amount of time to be utilized at the meters.
He said, "The new meters will give more options to pay - whether by money, credit card, cellphone or smart card."
Mr. Matthews said the new parking "ambassadors" are taking in enough revenue to more than cover the $40,000 per month payment that has been promised to the city for 24 months.
He said multi-space meters on the North Shore and Riverfront Parkway are enforced from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Multi-space and single-head meters downtown are enforced from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
For both the price remains 75 cents per hour and the maximum stay is two hours.