WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) — Wausau has implemented a new parking system in the downtown area in an effort to modernize the city.
Here’s how it works, if you’re parking in downtown Wausau parking lots or parking ramps, you need to register your car. The new pay station will monitor how long a car has been parked by its license plate number.
“Before the officers were chalking tires and this basically reads the plates on the vehicles that would be in a lot or parking ramp,” said Maryanne Groat, Finance Director for the City of Wausau.
Even though the first two hours are free, you still need to register your car either on an app or at the pay station.
“Wausau is really one of the few cities in Wisconsin that gives away 2 hours worth of free parking,” said Robert Mielke, Mayor of the City of Wausau.
If you don’t use the pay station, you can use an app called ‘Passport Parking’. It’s free, but there is a $.25 charge for extending your time in a parking space. However the new system caters to handicapped drivers and those who spend their weekends downtown.
“They (handicapped drivers) do not need to pay for parking, so they do not have to go to the pay station or use the phone app, on the weekends and evenings you’re really exempt from going to those facilities because it is free parking,” said Groat.
And if you get a ticket, the first one will be forgiven. While the system has been confusing some people, city leaders say Wausau is just changing with the times.