By Tom Shevlin
NEWPORT – You'll be able to leave the quarters at home this summer.
Over the last two weeks, crews have been busy updating the city's remaining parking meters with so-called "smart meters" capable of accepting cash as well as debit and credit cards.
The new meter heads, which were part of a new five-year, $941,000 contract awarded in December to Central Parking Systems of Providence, are being installed throughout the city's downtown core.
That same contract also effectively increased the parking rate by 25 cents per hour, giving motorists 12 minutes for every 25 cents inserted at metered spaces compared to
15 minutes previously granted for 25 cents.
According to city officials, the fee hike is need to help offset the cost of the new smart meters, which had been installed in certain areas of the city last year as part of pilot project.