Get ready, they're coming!

UPDATE:  Now that the City of Duluth have the trial parking pay stations along the one-block stretch of 300 West Superior Street.  They are looking for your feedback.


The new parking pay stations will be there for the next four months. Pay stations will accept $1 bills, most coins, and all major credit cards and are meant to offer flexible payment options for motorists.

Tutorial on how to use the new parking system:

The following provides basic information for the public on how the new system works and where you can submit comments:

What methods of payment do the new pay stations accept? The pay stations on the 300 block of West Superior Street will accept $1 coins, quarters, dimes, nickels, $1 bills, and Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit and debit cards. Combinations payments also are accepted; for example, you could select an 80-minute parking stay for $1 and insert two quarters, followed by an American Express debit card to pay the remaining 50 cents.

What methods of payment do the new pay stations NOT accept? Pennies and bills larger than $1 are not accepted. In addition, the pay stations will not accept any payment whatsoever until the screen asks for payment—that is, until you have entered your parking space number and chosen a stay length.

What are the stay length options and maximum time limit? During the trial, the stay length options, including the maximum stay, will remain the same as they are now; the options are as follows: 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 60 minutes, or 80 minutes maximum.

What will be the cost to park on this block of Superior Street during the trial? During the trial, the cost to park on the block will be unchanged, as follows: 25 cents per 20 minutes up to a maximum of $1 for the longest-allowable stay of 80 minutes.

Must I pay at a particular pay station depending on where I park? No, payment may be made at any of the three pay stations regardless of where you park on the trial block.

Can I use a cell phone to pay for parking during the trial? In order to have a more direct comparison of the on-street pay stations to the existing meters, there will not be a phone payment option during the trial. However, if the City ultimately decides to adopt automated pay stations to replace the quarters-only meters on a permanent basis, it is expected that all pay stations would be coupled with the option to pay from the comfort of your vehicle using any cell phone, mobile Internet device, or portable computer.

How can I be certain that my payment made at a pay station was successful? The screen will ask if you would like a receipt.  Must I walk back to my vehicle to display a receipt on the dashboard? Absolutely not. Receipts are entirely optional.  Do the receipts contain BPA? No, the receipts are free of BPA.

Why would I want a receipt for parking? Receipts state the time when your parking will expire and also list the space number in which you are parked, which can be handy reminders. Some people use receipts as documentation for work-related expense reimbursements. Others simply utilize receipts for their personal financial records.

Are there any advantages to opting not to print a receipt? If you do not need a receipt, opting not to print one will serve as a personal contribution to safeguarding our beautiful natural environment. It also will save you a few seconds.

What happens if I am trying to use a pay station and find that there is a coin slot jam or discover that a prior parker has jammed a credit card into the bill acceptor? If you encounter a jammed coin slot, you still may pay with a credit / debit card or a $1 bill. If you find that someone has jammed a credit card into the bill acceptor, you still may pay with a credit / debit card, coins, or combinations thereof. In either scenario, you also may pay at either of the other two pay stations on the block with the full range of payment choices. If one of these low probability events occurs, the pay station sends an immediate alert via text message and e-mail to management and maintenance staff located close by in downtown Duluth. Oftentimes staff is en route to remedy the situation even before a parker calls to report it.

What are the goals of this on-street parking technology trial? A major goal is the gathering of feedback on customers' experience in using the new pay stations as compared to the existing system of quarters-only meters. Another primary goal is to evaluate the performance of the pay stations and customer interaction with them during wintertime and varying weather conditions.

What was the impetus for the trial? The desire for a trial of technology to enable the acceptance of multiple payment options stretches back several years. Residents and visitors to Duluth have expressed a desire to be able to pay using credit and debit cards. The trial also is a key facet of the City of Duluth's multi-year strategic parking plan as developed by the Duluth Parking Commission, the Downtown Parking Advisory Committee, the Greater Downtown Council, and other stakeholders.

Feedback is greatly appreciated and a primary goal of the trial.

Or, you can call 218-727-PARK (answered 24/7) to provide feedback verbally.

Anyone with additional questions may contact City of Duluth Parking Manager Matthew Kennedy at (218) 730-5178 or by email at

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