Columbia to Install New Electronic Parking Meters

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Works Department plans to install electronic parking meters along parts of Broadway and Ninth Street on Monday.

The new meters will be installed on the south side of Ninth Street between Locust and Broadway Streets, as well as both sides of Broadway between Ninth and Tenth Streets. Drivers can pay for parking with credit cards, coins and with a smartphone app, ParkMobile's Pay by Phone.

The installation will cost the city roughly $66,000 out of the parking utility budget. However, during a February City Council meeting, Skip Walther, a member of Columbia's Downtown Parking Task Force, said he anticipated the meters would pay for themselves in about two years.

In March 2012, the city began measuring credit card meter data, and found that the new electronic meters installed along Ninth Street were bringing in an average $330 per meter each month. When the city measured the credit card meter data in 2013, the meters showed an average revenue of $405 per meter each month, a 20 percent increase from the previous year. With the new installations, the number of credit card meters downtown will almost quadruple.