COLUMBIA, S.C.- A pilot program will begin soon using solar-powered meters that accept credit cards. The pilot program will last for 90 days and the meters are being loaned to the city for free by Southern Time Equipment Co. of Wilson, North Carolina.
The pilot program focuses on a few different areas in Columbia. One place the new meters will show up is along the high volume block of Main Street between City Hall and the Richland County courthouse. The other location is in two parking garages: one on Taylor Street and the other at the soon to open parking garage at Taylor and Sumter streets. Only a few cities in South Carolina are currently using credit card enabled parking meters. Only Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Surfside Beach are currently using the newer meters.
Initially, during the most busy parking times, the city will have workers out to help drivers use the new machines and to gather their thoughts on the new machines. The city hopes to have a decision on the newer meters by the end of the year.