Beginning this season, the Mary St. Lot will be a self-pay parking lot, similar to the Touro St. Lot, Long Wharf Lot and Narragansett Ave. at Forty Steps. Paid parking will be in effect 24 hours per day from May 1 through October 31.
Pay stations located in the Mary St. Lot will enable parkers to pay for a selected number of hours, all day parking or even overnight parking. Payment can be made with cash of credit card. For added convenience, a pay by phone application is being explored as an alternative payment method.
Why the change? There were two primary reasons for changing the Mary St., according to Newport Police Department.
Parking Lot operation: outdated equipment in need of replacement and increasing contractor operating costs. The parking lot equipment (entrance gates, exit gates, ticket dispensers, fee computer, operating software and attendant booth equipment) were obsolete and in need of replacement requiring a significant capital expense.
Additionally, operator contract fees have increased over the years with additional increases anticipated in the future. The self-pay units were procured for about one third of the cost of traditional parking lot equipment and their maintenance cost is also significantly lower.
Additional benefits include the elimination equipment malfunctions (which resulted in closed entrances), increased security with the elimination of cash handling and reduced expenses for operating supplies.
Mary St. Resident Discount – The Newport Resident discount (up to three hours of free parking once per day) will still be available at the Mary St. lot. Residents with a valid Newport Resident sticker will enter their license plate number at the self- pay equipment and the rate will be adjusted accordingly.
Self-pay equipment has successfully operated at the Touro and Long Wharf lots for five years and at the Forty Steps for three years. And although the self-pay equipment is easy to use, traffic aids will be present at the lot during peak times during initial implementation to assist parkers should there be any questions.