UPDATE: Iowa City raises rates but gives cars 'First Hour Free' - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Iowa City raises rates but gives cars 'First Hour Free'

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Patrons of downtown Iowa City will notice rates in parking ramps going up, but a new program being implemented next week hopes to soften that blow. Patrons of downtown Iowa City will notice rates in parking ramps going up, but a new program being implemented next week hopes to soften that blow.
IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Patrons of downtown Iowa City will notice rates in parking ramps going up, but a new program being implemented next week hopes to soften that blow.

"First Hour Free," a program that provides people parking in certain parking ramps one hour free of parking, will begin July 1, courtesy of the City of Iowa City's Transportation Services Department.

The program comes as the city raises the hourly rate of ramp parking from 75 cents per hour to $1 per hour.

Thus, if you park for three hours today, it will cost you $2.25. After the rate increase, but including the "First Hour Free" program, it will cost you $2.

Parking ramps participating in this program include the Capitol Street ramp adjacent to Old Capitol Mall, the Dubuque Street ramp adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel, and the Tower Place ramp on Iowa Avenue.

A fourth ramp, the Court Street Transportation Center, will begin the program in mid-July.

On-street, metered parking will not be included.

A total of 1,150 "smart meters" that take credit cards as well as coins will be installed this weekend, ready for the start of business July 1 around downtown, the City of Iowa City also announced.

Signage for those meters is going up Thursday.

For more information on Iowa City parking changes, click here.

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