Drivers in Portland will now be able to use credit and debit cards to pay for parking in parts of the city. Portland officials yesterday began installing new parking meters as part of a pilot program to test the machines, which the city hopes will improve parking accessibility in busy areas.
The city will install 18 parking pay stations along Commercial, Fore, Federal and Free streets, as well as near the Maine Medical Center, according to a press release. The solar-powered stations will accept coins and debit and credit cards and allow more vehicles to park on the street. The city said they will also make streetscapes more attractive and improve snow removal from sidewalks.
Instructive signs will help motorists figure out how to use them. After paying, they'll receive a receipt to be displayed on the dashboard.
The city's Capital Improvement Program funded the purchase of the machines, installation, accompanying signs and ongoing maintenance for $175,000. They will go live May 21.
Parking is $1 an hour between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with a two-hour parking limit.