New meters installed in downtown Minneapolis

The new meters are solar powered and drivers can pay by credit card.

Sarah Nienaber

Tuesday was the first day on the job for 46 new parking meters in downtown Minneapolis.

Older meters that have been in use since 1992 will be coming down and are being replaced with numbered parking space signs. Drivers will use the space numbers to pay for parking using quarters, dollar coins and credit or debit cards.

The pay meter stations installed will be used to pay for parking for approximately 450 parking spaces. Plans in the next two years call for the addition of another 400 pay stations, or 4,000 more parking spots.

The meters are solar-powered and use MinneapolisâÄô Wi-Fi to allow credit card payments. Paying by credit card isnâÄôt the only advantage the new meters offer though. They can be programmed and can handle different pay rates throughout the day. The pay stations will warn drivers of “tow away zones” so drivers will know to move their vehicles. The stations will not allow drivers to pay during these peak times.

The city expects many transactions will be handled electronically. Having only one pay station located at the end of a block will mean traffic control agents will also spend less time emptying meters.

Similar systems are used in Chicago and Los Angeles.