Northampton downtown garage will soon accept credit

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton’s restaurants and shops attract a lot of tourists and college students, but right now, parking can be difficult.

Nowadays, you can use your credit card almost anywhere. Northampton’s downtown garage is not one of them. That’s about to change.

“You don’t always have your the correct change on hand so the credit card would come in handy so yes it would make it more convenient for tourists,” said Faith Barcome of Wilbraham.

For nearly a decade the garage only accepted cash. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz told 22News he’s sped up a capital improvement project to allow people to pay for parking with a credit or debit card. The goal is to have that done by the end of summer.

“I think it would be convenient for many people. i would use my credit card. some times i dont have change so yes i think it would be convenient,” Meg Wright of Amherst told 22News.

Northampton’s Director of Central Services David Pomerantz said bidding for the project contract closed last Wednesday. Pomerantz told 22News this equipment is old and needs repairs, so it just made sense to add the credit card option when they rebuilt the system.

It often costs more for systems to accept credit. Mayor Narkewicz said at this point, they’re not looking to pass that charge onto customers.

“If the credit card machines can work quickly then they’ll be convenient but if they’re slow…then lines could get kind of big and that can get crazy,” said Phil Palmer of Florence.

Mayor Narkewicz hopes it will reduce problems and speed up the process of getting in and out of the garage. The Mayor said he hopes to also upgrade the street parking machines to accept credit later this year.