Tampa's Downtown Parking Meters Go Electronic

Save your quarters for the gumball machine, Tampa, 'cause you won't need them for parking anymore.

The city of Tampa has decided to replace its coin parking meters with pay-by-space meters that accept cash, credit and debit cards. City Parking Division Manager Jim Corbett says the changes could come as soon as November, and mode-of-payment flexibility isn't the only benefit the change will bring. Corbett says each block in downtown Tampa will have one meter, as opposed to several, and as long as you know what your space number is, you can pretty much pay for it at any meter on any block.

"You don't have to pay for parking on just your block," says Corbett. "You can park and then pay as you go, at whatever meter is convenient. So if you park on one block, but your building is in a different direction from the meter, you can walk toward your building and pay at another meter on the way. All you need to know is your space number, you type the number in, how much time you need and then insert cash or a credit card into the machine. You can even get a receipt for tax or business purposes, if you need one."

Corbett says the 146 pay-by-space meters will be installed from Tyler Street in the north part of downtown to Whiting Street at the south end, and from Nebraska Avenue on the east to Ashley Drive on the west.

According to Karen Kress, director of transportation and planning for the city of Tampa, the posts of the current meters will bear a placard with the space number.

"We're taking the head off each post," she says. "And we're using a company called Merje to design an aluminum space placard identifying the number of the space that will replace the existing meters."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Jim Corbett, City of Tampa
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