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INDIANAPOLIS – Changes to parking meters mean increased revenue for the city of Indianapolis—to the tune of $2.5 million.

The city collected that much from parking meters in 2012, an increase of $1 million from the previous year and $2 million from 2010.

Parking rates doubled in early 2012 to $1.50 per hour in downtown and Broad Ripple. All other near-downtown and metered area increased to $1 per hour.

The city signed a 50-year lease with a company to run and maintain the parking meeting system. That agreement brought $20 million to the city upfront in addition to a share of total revenue for the length of the contract. Money from parking meters can only go toward improvements in areas near parking meters.

Before 2010, parking meter rates remained at 75 cents for almost 20 years.

The agreement with ParkIndy includes updates to meter technology every decade. The company also oversees metered parking, payment collection and parking enforcement.

Mayor Greg Ballard said the numbers prove the parking deal was good for the city.

“Our city gains more revenue to fund much needed improvements and building projects in metered parking areas and motorists benefit from new technology that makes it easier to pay and easier to park in our city,” Ballard said.

According to the city, 60 percent of meter payments came via credit cards; before 2011, paying with a card wasn’t an option. About five percent of payments came through pay-by-phone and smart phone services.

The city said the new meters are more efficient and sustainable. They’re solar powered and include bike rings for Indy’s growing number of cyclists.

City officials also said the new meters have reduced clutter; pay boxes and double space poles have reduced the number of meters around the city. In addition, improvements in wireless technology have made it easier to identify and repair faulty meters.