JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – If you work or visit downtown Jackson you’ll need to look twice at the parking meter you pull up to because new ones are coming up and they expect you to pay upfront.
This new project will soon replace or build new meters across the city. Here’s how vital efficient parking meters are to revenue for Jackson, in the early 2000s the city raked in $500,000 in parking fees. But last year they only made about $50,000 to pay for public services.
“Saw there was a meter working which was a little bit shocking,” Bryan Treanor told us.
Along four streets in downtown Jackson 146 new parking meters sit with software capable of accepting credit or debit cards and coins.
“We put up meters in the 100-200 blocks of East Capitol, the 100-200 blocks of West Capitol, the 100 block of North Lamar, the 100 block of South Lamar, the 500 block of Pearl, and the 200 block of President,” Planning Director Jordan Rae Hillman said.
The new meters will go up in phases paying for each group to replace old ones or be built across the city where they weren’t before. Their fees will then get distributed for specific public projects.
“We project somewhere between $200,000-$250,000 in revenue in a year just off those meters,” Hillman said about the first phase meters. “Once the meter revenue has a profit then that revenue is intended to go back into the parking district to make sidewalk improvements, landscape improvements, ADA ramps.”
Rates begin at $1.00 for the first two hours, then jump to $3.00 for the third hour, then go up to $4.00 each hour after that.
“It’s definitely below UMMC rates,” Treanor told us. “So park in the parking garage there, or it’s closer to downtown, it may be cheaper to park downtown and catch the Jtran to UMMC. We do have company cards we can swipe at the meters now which is really nice.”
The new system both in house and on the streets has updated technology to detect if someone doesn’t pay or overstayed in the spot.
“There’s a little black circle in the middle of them and that censor will let us know in real-time if there’s a car there and if they paid,” Hillman explained. “So it’s a real-time system. Meter technicians can get real-time alerts when somebody has tried to manipulate the meter or mess with the meter it will set off an alarm if communications have gone down.”
The hours of operations for these meters are 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The city will also offer the app called mobile parking in the next six weeks you can download to pay online or see where parking is available.
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