The City of Des Moines is retiring the SmartCard System used in the downtown parking district. All parking spaces that are metered will be converted to a multi-space meter payment system which will also include a new mobile payment app. The following are answers to some of the common questions we have received:
How long can I use my SmartCard?
The City is currently phasing out its SmartCard system. Below are important dates to know:
- On August 16, 2021, the City of Des Moines stopped selling new SmartCards.
- On September 3, 2021, the maximum amount allowed to be added to SmartCards was capped at $25.
- On December 3, 2021, you will no longer be able to add any additional value to your SmartCard.
- By April 1, 2022, you should aim to have a $0 balance on your SmartCard. Refunds are not possible with the SmartCard system.
- As of July 2022, all of the single-space meters will have been replaced and SmartCards will no longer work.
When will the new system be installed?
The City started installation work in November 2021 and anticipates activating the new parking system in three phases starting at the end of January or early February 2022. Below is a breakdown of the area each phase covers:
- Phase 1: This phase will start along 16th Street and progress east towards Water Street.
- Phase 2: This phase will encompass the meters in the Historic East Village
- Phase 3: This phase will encompass the rest of the parking meters along the edges of downtown Des Moines
Starting in November of 2021, the entire project will be completed by July of 2022.
Where will I find the multi-space meter payment system?
There will be 400 multi-space meter payments stations across downtown. The pay stations will be typically located in the middle of the block or grouping of metered parking spaces. Each existing meter will be replaced with a sign marker showing the number corresponding to the parking space. You will be able to walk to a multi-space meter payment station, or you can log into the mobile payment app, enter the space number, and pay on your phone or mobile device.
How do I know I have to pay for my parking spot?
All current metered parking spaces will be replaced with a sign and corresponding number for that spot. The sign will tell you for how long you can park in the space, what times and days of the week that you need to pay to park and will have an arrow to point to the space.
Where do I download the mobile app?
The mobile payment app can be found in the iPhone App Store, Android App Store, or through our website, DSM.city
Will I have to go back to the multi-space meter station to pay for more time?
If you download the mobile app, you will be able to add time from wherever you are downtown. The mobile app will give you an alert on your phone before you run out of time. The alert will direct you to add more time to your meter spot directly through your phone. You will also be able to pay for any space at any multi-space pay station, just have your space number with you.
What kind of payment methods can I use?
The new parking system will take U.S. Quarters, credit cards, and payments through the mobile app. Contactless payments, using Google Pay or Apple Pay will also be available.
What is the difference with the new multi-space meter payment system?
There are two major differences:
First, each metered parking space will be connected to 400 multi-space meter payment stations. This will limit the inconvenience if a pay station is having technical issues that individual parking meters are known to have.
Second, the option to add time through a mobile payment app will allow users to do so on the go. You will not have to leave your activity or worry about getting back to your vehicle before time runs out. If you need to add time, simply open the mobile app and add time to your parking spot right from your phone.