Changes to street parking and surface parking lot rates in Evanston, adopted in the city’s 2019 budget take effect today.

The cost of parking at a two-hour parking meter or pay station increases from $1 to $1.50 per hour.

Rates for long-term meters in commuter parking lots go up from 25 cents to 50 cents per hour, and 20-minute meters will increase from 25 cents to 50 cents.

In addition, payment at parking meters and pay stations will be required on Sundays, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

To encourage drivers to use the Park Evanston mobile app, the city is offering $5 of free parking to app users who load their mobile wallet with $20. The offer is valid once per customer, March 1 through May 31. App users can load payments using a credit card or can do so in person at the Collector’s Office at the Civic Center.

In addition to paying for parking, drivers can also use the app to track their parking history, receive notifications and email receipts and appeal or pay citations

Drivers using the Park Evanston mobile app pay a 35-cent transaction fee charged by the app vendor when paying for parking; however, the City will cover this cost for those who purchase the maximum amount of parking time allowed, typically two hours.

Parking for less than one hour remains free in the city’s three downtown parking garages. Parking for one to two hours remains $2. The fee structure for parking more than two hours in downtown garages has changed. Parking in downtown garages remains free on Sundays.

In addition to the parking rate changes, single-space parking meters in downtown Evanston and nearby business districts are being replaced with pay-by-license-plate pay stations. As pay stations are activated on each block, single-space parking meters are being removed.

On blocks with pay stations, drivers can pay for parking by entering their license plate number and completing payment at a nearby station or using the Park Evanston mobile app. There’s no need to display a payment receipt on a vehicle’s dashboard, as compliance is monitored electronically.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. higher parking fees, inconvenient pay stations

    Evanston has an awful time supporting its burgeoning budget.  I get that!  However, the wait time at the pay stations – once you have found them – is an unpleasant mix of following the new directions and fumbling for a credit card, probably behind someone else doing the same, currently in the cold!  This new procedure hardly benefits us downtown shoppers.  Skokie and Wilmette shopping is so much easier!  Are they eliminating  parking police personnel, or are they just cutting back on the number of stops those folks have to make?  And what happens to those perfectly fine parking meters we once had?  This latest development is not shopper-friendly!

    1. get the app

      I downloaded the app, very easy to use and with it you simply pull into a spot and pay from the comfort of your drivers seat.  No need to find or walk to any pay station.  Granted it will take a little time for people to learn this but it is the future of paid street parking here & everywhere else.  No more ricidulous pile of coins needed.  

      Wilmette doesn’t need meters because nobody parks there anyway, very little reason to go to that downtown.  Downtown Skokie, ditto, but I do believe they have meters now.  Any & every day it’s pretty obvious that many more people desire going to downtown Evanston than either of those other downtowns.   

      Then there is the mall, anyone who thinks parking is free at Old Orchard is clueless.  You pay for parking in every transaction you make there.  And the more stores/restaurants you visit you pay for parking repeatedly.  If the cost were broken out and transparent it would likely prove much more expensive than Evanston.  

      I like this system so much better.  Get the app and make your life easier.  

      1. Some of us are leary about apps

        Will the new app be connected to the special city credit card?  Can this card be refilled and separated

        from one’s other banking? Some of us do not like to perform financial transactions via our

        smart phones because we worry about possible breaches of security.

        1. Apps

          The way the City of Chicago works, is you pay via your app and get pinged when time is running out.

          If you say NO to refilling the time (because you are on your way to your vehyicle) and you don’t get to your vehicle in time, you WILL get a parking ticket–they know you didn’t refill your parking in time and now are in violation.

          The double edged sword of technology!

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