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Indianapolis’ new parking meters will start ticking next week

(Source: Indystar)

If you work in Downtown Indianapolis or visit Mass Ave. and Broad Ripple, keep your credit or debit card handy.

The arrival of new automated parking meters in those areas beginning next week means the city’s estimated 3,700 coin-fed-only meters soon will be history.

“We’re actually going to come into the late 20th century,” said Mayor Greg Ballard, whose plan to lease the city’s meters for 50 years won City-County Council approval in November by a 15-14 vote.

Here is what to expect as the private ParkIndy team takes over.

Which areas get the new meters first?

Phase 1: Starting the first week of March, about 1,250 single-space meters will replace old units in the Downtown core (bounded by Capitol Avenue and New York, Alabama and Georgia streets), along Massachusetts Avenue and on five streets in Broad Ripple.

Phase 2: Beginning in early summer, many meters in the Downtown core and nearby business areas will be replaced by multispace pay boxes.

Phase 3: By late 2011, residential meters will be replaced.

How will they work?

You can insert nickels, dimes and quarters — or a credit or debit card. After inserting a Visa-, Mastercard- or American Express-affiliated card, you add or subtract time before confirming your choice.

When will rates go up?

Eventually, varying rates will apply in different zones. While ParkIndy is installing new equipment, rate hikes will apply to new meters only. The current 75-cent hourly rate hasn’t changed in 35 years.

March 28:  Hourly rates increase to $1 in the Downtown core, Mass Ave. and Broad Ripple. That rate also will apply later to new meters installed in other Downtown business areas.

Jan. 1: Hourly rates in the Downtown core, Mass Ave. and Broad Ripple increase to $1.50. Low-traffic Downtown business areas stay at $1, and residential areas go up to $1.

After 2012: Hourly rates could increase every few years with inflation.

What are the new hours?

Expanded hours take effect March 28 for the first batch of new meters, and later as new units are installed elsewhere. Parking will remain free on Sundays and eight holidays.

Downtown core, Mass Ave. and Broad Ripple: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Low-traffic Downtown areas: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Residential: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday (unchanged).

Who is ParkIndy?

Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services, a Xerox company, is the lead vendor. Its Indianapolis-based partners are Denison Global Parking and Evens Time.

What are the lease terms?

The city received $20 million upfront and will get a share of revenue over 50 years that is estimated at $363 million to $620 million. By state law, those proceeds must be spent on street improvements and infrastructure in the meter zones. A parking garage in Broad Ripple is in early planning stages.

To learn more

Visit ParkIndy’s website at www.parkindy.net.

Call Star reporter Jon Murray at (317) 444-2752.

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