Keep the change: New downtown meters offer convenient payment options

single-meta-cal May 19, 2022

Rapidly evolving technology regularly affects the way we live, work and travel, and nowhere is that more evident than in the vehicles we drive.

Self-driving functions and touchscreens make some modern vehicles feel more like spaceships. Features like multiple cameras and airbags provide unprecedented levels of safety for drivers and passengers.

With as much time as we spend in our vehicles, drivers want parking to be a hassle-free experience. Fortunately for Huntsville’s residents and visitors, parking and paying are now easier than ever.

The City’s Parking and Public Transit Department is putting the finishing touches on a project to replace antiquated parking meters with new high-tech versions that also accept credit or debit cards, though they will still take coins. The plan is to finish installing the 165 single- and dual-space meters by early summer 2022.

“These meters will make it incredibly easy to park, pay and not worry about having to run back and feed the meter every hour,” said Parking and Public Transit Director Quisha Bryant. “That’s more time residents and visitors can spend enjoying our great downtown destinations.”

More ways to pay

A closeup look at a city parking meter. There's a digital display and a credit card slot and instructions. The meter is green and black.

Huntsville’s new solar-powered meters accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, tap-to-pay and work with the City’s existing Passport Parking App. For those who prefer to use change, there’s also a slot for coins.

Parking Services Manager John Ashburn said the new solar-powered meters also accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, tap-to-pay and work with the City’s existing Passport Parking App.

Even better, Ashburn said citizens can self-report problems, which allows technicians to respond quickly.

“Previously, we would generally respond when someone reported a meter as malfunctioning,” he said. “The new meters provide live operational, maintenance and financial reporting.”

And because the meters have modular components, they’re also easy to repair.

“You can remove a faulty component without having to replace the entire meter,” he said. “That makes servicing so much easier.”

While Bryant and Ashburn appreciate the operational ease of the new meters, downtown merchants should also appreciate benefits the meters offer to customers.

“One of the best ways to offer a great guest experience is to provide guests with a variety of convenient options,” said Chad Emerson, President and CEO of Downtown Huntsville, Inc. “The new credit card-friendly parking meters do a great job with that by offering multiple ways to pay.”

Click here to learn more about where to park in Huntsville, including an interactive map showing available public lots and decks.