In the City of Erie, the old-fashioned way of paying for parking is coming to an end.

After years of planning, the Erie Parking Authority is ready to implement a brand new parking meter system throughout the downtown area.

“It's a whole system change, from city hall right to the parking authority,” said Erie Parking Authority Executive Director Ray Massing.  “It's something we need to do, and give people basically more options to pay for parking.”

In July, the Erie Parking Authority will begin implementing the new system outside of the Erie County Courthouse.

Parking meters will be replaced by kiosks, which will be able to take credit card or phone payments.

"We will have PayByPhone,” said Massing.  “You'll be able to basically set up an account on the phone and pay for your parking by using your phone."

In order to pay for the estimated $2 million in upgrades, Erie City Council approved changes to several ordinances that allow the parking authority to increase the costs of fines.

"I think the modernization is much needed,” said Erie City Councilman Bob Merski.  “I'm proud to be a part of it."

According to Massing, meter violation fines will jump from $10.00 to $15.00.

From each fine, the city will receive $12.00 while the parking authority will receive $3.00.  Massing says the money the parking authority receives will be used to fund the new system.

The cost of parking is also expected to increase from 75 cents to one dollar an hour.

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