New Missoula Meters Ready for Coins, Cards and Coupons
If you’ve walked around downtown Missoula lately, you might have noticed something unusual -- there are black plastic bags covering up parking meters.
Pretty soon the old meters will be obsolete. They’re set to be replaced by brand new meters.
"The other meters were old and mechanical, and they were very subject to changes of weather and moisture and so forth, and their parts were simply worn out. The new meters will offer new payment options for everybody," said Missoula Parking Commission director Anne Guest.
NBC Montana reports there will be no more digging for pocket change, the new meters not only take quarters but also credit cards, debit cards and other options like smart cards and coupons.
The new meters will cost $1 for the first hour, an additional $1 for the second hour and $0.50 every hour after that. You don't have to rush to move your car after two hours, you can simply add more time with an app on your smartphone.
When the new meters are up and running, the city will make parking structures free for the first hour you park there as an incentive to get people to use off-street parking.
If you have time on your meter but need to go somewhere else downtown, you can move your car and use the remainder of your time on the next meter.
The city hopes to have the parking meters up and running by Dec. 9. Residents are excited to have more payment options.
"I think that they will really be a nice addition to the downtown area so that people have more opportunity to pay in many different varieties through credit card or cash. It will make it a lot more convenient," said resident David Armocido.
Missoula has been working on the $1.4 million project for two years. It is funded by a lease equipment loan and will be paid back with the proceeds from the meters.
The city is currently working on a data conversion to get the meters up and running, and after that the plastic cover goes away.
The parking meters track you by your car's license number, so you don't need a ticket for the vehicle's dashboard, you can just park and pay at any meter.