IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa City officials are moving forward with a plan to put credit card readers in each individual parking meter. There are over 1,000 meters in the downtown area, each will be upgraded by July 1 if the city council approves the plan next week.
"This is really about convenience for people who come downtown," said Chris O'Brien, transportation services director.
The change comes in the midst of an entire downtown parking overhaul. Next week the council will consider allowing downtown parking one hour of free parking in the city's parking garages. The move would require the city to increase rates for drivers who stay in the garages for more than two hours.
"This will increase efficiency and I think this is another step in that direction," said Terry Dickens, downtown business owner and city council member.
Downtown business owners have been very supportive of the changes, which have gained support from the Downtown District.
In recent months the city has also added payment stations at area parking ramps to increase efficiency as cars leave the garages.