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Cleveland to replace coin operated meters with digital parking system

Cleveland coin-operated parking meter
Mike McIntyre
Ideastream Public Media
Mayor Justin Bibb has announced a plan to update Cleveland's coin-operated street parking meters with a new digital system in 2023.

Cleveland has selected two vendors in a $5 million overhaul to modernize on-street parking.

Citywide, coin-operated meters will be replaced by 100 single- and 600 multi-space, credit-card enabled “smart meters” supplied by Flowbird. Users will also be able to pay by app, text or scanning a QR code with ParkMobile.

The $5 million price tag includes the cost of equipment, software and tools for monitoring.

Mayor Justin Bibb, who has repeatedly promised to modernize city processes, plans to introduce legislation approving the two vendors’ contracts to Cleveland City Council in the coming weeks. He expects to implement the new parking system within six months of the agreements being signed.

The introduction of smart meters makes good on a campaign promise touted by Bibb.

In a press release announcing the vendors, Cleveland’s Chief Operating Officer Bonnie Teeuwen said the city expects to see an increase in parking revenues through “better enforcement” and additional payment options.

Bibb previously said the additional revenue could go toward RTA to assist the transit agency with funding problems.

“Smart parking meters is a novel idea,” Bibb said in a 2021 interview with Ideastream Public Media. “It’s a positive step in us being creative about some of these public policy issues.”

Other municipalities in Northeast Ohio, such as Akron, have begun adopting smart parking methods in recent years.

Abbey Marshall covers Cleveland-area government and politics for Ideastream Public Media.