High Tech Parking Meters Headed to Downtown Columbia

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COLUMBIA -Starting this week, drivers in downtown Columbia will start seeing new high-tech parking meters.

The city's Downtown Parking Task Force has launched a pilot program to test whether meters that accept credit cards and the city's Ez Park Card will make parking more convenient. The task force is testing out two different types of machines, multi-space and single-space.

With the multi-space machines, motorists will walk to a machine located in the middle of the block to pay for their parking spot. Each parking space is metered so motorists know where they parked. Canadian company Digital Payment Technologies, Inc. recently installed two machines on Ninth Street.

Within the next few weeks, IPS Group Inc. will install single-space systems at each parking space along Ninth Street between Locust and University Streets. Once both systems are up and running, the task force will observe each for 90 days and make a recommendation to the city.

Currently, one machine sits outside the Rome restaurant. Owner Cory Hodapp says the machines may bring the Rome more business.

"It makes things more convenient for the customer," he said.