COLUMBIA, S.C. — The hours that you have to pay for parking in parts of the City of Columbia may be changing, including parking fees during the evenings and on Saturdays.
During the Nov. 25 Columbia City Council meeting, council members were offered a proposal that would change on-street metered parking in the city.
Director of Parking Services Elle Matney proposed extending the hours of meter enforcement to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Currently, meters are monitored 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Also being considered is a flat fee incentive for night and weekend parking: $5 for parking in after 6 p.m. and out by 6 a.m.
There would be a trial period, beginning in the Five Points entertainment district, before any permanent change would be made.
In the Five Points area, there is also a proposal to enhance and better connect the parking deck at 2221 Devine to Devine Street and surrounding businesses, and a dynamic pricing system is being considered that would structure fees for busier times of the day.
Eventually, Columbia would like to bring meter fees and enforcement in line with neighboring cities. Charleston's on-street hourly rate is $2 per hour, $14 ticket for an expired meter, and meters are monitored until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Columbia charges 75 cents to park for an hour in a metered spot and $8 for an expired meter.
According to a Feb.1, 2019, story in Charleston's Post & Courier, that city tripled the revenue after raising fees and extending hours from $1.45 million in 2017 to $3.93 million in 2018.