Wichita officials rolled out the probable future of downtown parking Wednesday in a parking lot near Century II.
Officials unveiled a three-month electronic parking test project in the lot east of Century II Expo Hall and south of the Central Library.
The experiment eliminates parking meters, replacing them with pay stations near the north entrances of the lot. There, customers can use coins or debit or credit cards to pay for parking. The test will cost a little more than $15,000. After the test project ends, city officials will decide whether to expand or scrap the electronic parking concept.
The experiment will bring Wichita in line with other large cities that use electronic parking, said Vice Mayor Pete Meitzner. He added that such systems are more convenient for users who don’t want to carry cash, are cheaper for cities to maintain and eliminate the need for meter checks by city staff.
The parking meters will remain during the experiment but will not be in use. Parking costs remain the same daily between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m.: 10 cents for a half-hour, 25 cents for two hours and $1.25 for 10 hours.
Informational signs are posted at the north entrances and the pay station.
The city’s parking management company, The Car Park, will oversee the transition.