When you head to Jacksonville Beach this spring get ready for some parking changes.
The city will be automating its parking lots with new pay stations for credit cards and an app for smartphones.
Cash will no longer be an option and there will no parking attendants.
Jacksonville Beach Police Department Commander Tommy Crumley told WJCT News Friday the city expects to implement the new system somewhere around March 15.
As before, visitors will still have to pay to park on Friday, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from mid-March through October.
“We’re going with a new system this year with their automated pay stations that will hopefully eliminate a lot of the traffic problems that we've had in the past, and it'll be a familiar system to a lot of folks that have seen paid parking in different areas,” said Crumley.
SP Plus, which has offices in Jacksonville, has been awarded the pay station contract. The city is finalizing a contract with ParkMobile for the smartphone app.
The ParkMobile app has more than 10 million users nationwide, according to the company, and is in use in more than 3,000 locations that include Orlando, Miami and Tampa.
The new system also means that in some cases it will be cheaper to park.
“Before we were just a flat $5, but our businesses and some of the residents had asked us to work on a fee schedule that would promote some turnover and some short-term parking for folks that didn't want to pay the full $5," Crumley said.
Now drivers can pay $3 for two hours and then $1 for each additional dollar up to a maximum cost of $7 for all day.
Jacksonville Beach residents will still be able to park for free using the residential parking program. But Crumley said they will need to make sure their cars are registered in the system.
The city's paid parking page - which isn't updated yet - will have the needed information soon, according to Crumley. Residents will need to make sure their vehicle is registered by going to the page once it's updated or by going in person to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department at 101 Penman Rd. S., Jacksonville Beach.
There is also a Level 3 charging station at the city lot at 55 N. 2nd Street operated by EVgo for those with electric vehicles. Crumley said EVs are exempted from a parking fee while they are charging. However, if staying after a charge is completed, EVs will need to be moved to a normal parking spot where regular fees apply.
According to EVgo's website, the current charging rate is 35 cents per minute at up to 50 kilowatts per hour.
The city opted against using cash machines because of the salt air and moisture, which make the machines harder to maintain, Crumley said.
He said the city expects to see an increase in revenue from the new system.
Free street parking will still be available for those who may not have credit cards or smartphones, Crumley noted.