If you participate in Annapolis' two hours free garage parking program for city residents, you're going to need some blue tickets.
"With the new system in place, we don't have cashiers there 24/7 so they can't see the decal," said Ian Banks, a city parking specialist.
In March, Annapolis started accepting credit cards at parking garages, which eliminated the need for round-the-clock cashiers.
The long-term solution will be to pass out or mail key fobs or barcode tags that drivers will be able to scan on their way out, Banks said. Until that happens in early January 2013, city residents will need to show identification and pick up a stack of blue tickets from the Noah Hillman Garage office.
Residents will be able to pick up one month's worth of tickets from the office, city spokesperson Rhonda Wardlaw said. The office will record the residents' name, so that if someone passes them out to all their friends, he or she won't be able to use more than 30 parking vouchers in a single month.
That may matter more to some residents than others.
"We have some residents who use the garage every day," Banks said. "Some make use of it less than once a week."
Drivers still need to grab a white ticket when they enter, but on the way out residents will need to feed both tickets into either a payment kiosk in the parking garage or at the exit.
The new equipment came online about two weeks ago, and Banks said it's been a learning experience for some city residents.
"You can pay by credit card now, and obviously not a lot of people carry cash around," Banks said. "It's certainly more effective and efficient once people get to learn the system."
The three garages where residents are eligible for two hours of free parking are:
- Gott’s Court Garage (25 Northwest St., 410-263-9749)
- Hillman Garage (150 Gorman St., 410-263-9583)
- Knighton Garage (1A Colonial Ave., 410-263-7170)