New pay stations designed to improve Burlington parking

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Parking in downtown Burlington could get easier with new equipment being installed. The goal is to save the city money and save driver's time getting in and out of the city's garages.

Burlington Public Works has been installing new automated pay machines in the city's three garages.

Instead of paying at the booth when you're done downtown, people will pay at the machines before getting in their cars to go home.

Burlington has three public garages, they are Marketplace, Lakeview and College Street. The new "pay on foot stations" are designed to reduce the lines in the garage during peak hours.

“It is kind of nice because I like to know someone is at the booth when you leave. I don't know, they tell riddles and stuff -- it's kind of nice,” said Jackie Sagelonge of Burlington.

Sagelonge parks in Burlington about twice a week. She says she prefers the old way of interacting with someone when she leaves the garage. “I think as a town, usually we try to keep things how they've been. So everything becoming more automated, we are getting our first 13 story building. Everything feels new. I trust that they are making good decisions but I don't know,” she said.

If a driver forgets to pay at the machine before getting in the car, there's still a chance to pay as they exit, but cash will not be accepted.

The kiosks at the Marketplace Garage will be on the first floor across from the center stairwell and elevators. For Lakeview, they will be on the second floor near the Cherry Street entrance. Finally, for College Street, there will be one on the first floor and one on the second floor.

It's not just the people who drive who could be impacted, local business owners say parking is a hot topic for their customers.

“We know that parking can be challenging in Burlington, but generally speaking there are spaces available for people,” said Tod Gross with Phoenix Books. He says he's glad his customers will still get two hours of free parking with the new machines. “We are a city and cities have parking issues and I think the city does a good job of trying to manage that.”

Right now the city is a little more than halfway finished installing the kiosks. They hope to have all of the kiosks installed by mid-October. there's no word on when they will be running, but they're already being used at the Burlington Airport.