Downtown Lakeland Parking Fee Doubles to $1 an Hour
LAKELAND | The city will increase downtown parking meter rates on Monday from 50 cents to $1 an hour.
The change comes nearly a year after city commissioners voted for the increase in the 2012 yearly budget.
Kevin Cook, spokesman for the city of Lakeland, said city officials initially delayed the increase to plan for a new pay-by-space machine.
The machine, which will be installed at Munn Park, will accept debit and credit card payments from drivers. But Cook said the city must put the credit and debit card service out to bid before the machine is installed.
The machine should be installed later this year or in early 2013.
A total of 106 metered spaces at Bay Street, Munn Park and the Main Street Parking Garage will increase to the new rate.
In addition to the 50 cent increase, now drivers only receive three minutes for a nickel; six minutes for a dime; and 15 minutes for a quarter.
The rate in the city is still below downtown Tampa, which charges $1.50 an hour.
In Lakeland, the rate had been 50 cents an hour since 1996.
On Friday, pink pieces of paper taped on meters at the Munn Park lot notified drivers of the upcoming rate increase.