Remember, take your ticket! Parking garage changes underway

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Changes to the way you pay in Boise's downtown parking garages are underway. Capital City Development Corporation, CCDC, is installing automated machines to pay for parking, replacing the attendants at the exits of garages.

The company owns six garages downtown, all of them will have machines installed and running by mid May. Eastman Garage and City Center already have the machines in place and working.

A CCDC parking spokesman says there are a lot of positives to this new way of paying, including faster exit times and longer hours the garages can stay open.

"First of all, we want to run our business just like everybody else," said Max Clark, CCDC parking and facilities director. "Secondly, by paying up front, it speeds up the exit times, so you don't wait in line while you're exiting; exiting is much faster, it's an average of 10 seconds instead of 30 or 40. That means there are less emissions, so it's a greener garage. And lastly they're all open 24/7."

So here's how it works:

You drive into the garages like normal, and take a ticket from the machine at the entrance of the garage. But now, you must take that ticket with you when you leave. On your way back from shopping, dining, etc., you now walk up and pay at a machine that's located near the ground floor elevator. After paying, you have 20 minutes to walk to your car and leave the garage.

CCDC says the machines cost $1.9 million, but will pay for themselves in about four years. The price to pay for parking will stay the same, including the first free hour.

A spokesman for CCDC said for the first couple of months attendants will be walking around reminding people to take their ticket with them, and answer any questions. After the first few months, the company says they will not re-hire those employees that work as attendants.