Gate Arms

The gate arms system are live in the Eighth and Walnut (Plaza) and 10th and Cherry parking garages. Implementation for the remaining garages is tentatively scheduled in two-week intervals to allow for Parking Utility staff to be on-site for assistance and possible troubleshooting. The new gate arms system allows for more payment options and the ability to pay at either a walk-up machine or directly at the exit. 

Rates, enforcement hours and accepted payments

**Cash is ONLY accepted at Walk-up Machines, NOT at the exit machines.
**Per ordinance, hourly parkers may not park in a City parking garage for over 72 hours or they may be subject to tow.


New occupancy signs have been installed at the entrance of each garage. These signs will let customers know whether hourly parking is available, or if it is full and only permit parking is allowed.

  • Upon first pulling into the garage, the gate arm will be lowered. Once a customer presses the button and pulls a ticket, the gate arm will rise. Hourly parkers may still only park in designated spots marked “hourly.”
  • When leaving the garage, customers may either pay at a walk-up machine or at the exit.
    • At a walk-up machine, customers must scan their ticket for the machine to determine the total amount due. Once they pay using their preferred payment method, customers will have 15 minutes to exit the garage. Customers must have exact change when paying cash, as the machines do not provide change. Customers should keep the ticket pulled at the entry machine and scan it at the exit machine for the gate arm to rise.
    • If paying directly at the exit machine, customers may pull up to the exit machine, scan their ticket, pay the amount due using their preferred payment method and exit the garage once the gate arm rises. The exit machines do not accept cash.

Implementation Schedule

Garage Scheduled go-live date
Eighth and Walnut (Plaza) Wednesday, June 24
10th and Cherry Wednesday, June 24 
Sixth and Cherry Wednesday, July 15 tentative
Eighth and Cherry TBD
Fifth and Walnut Monday, July 27 tentative
Short Street Monday, August 3 tentative


In October 2017, the Columbia City Council approved the installation of a gate arms system for all six City parking garages. The new gate arms system will allow for a more intuitive, consistent and streamlined process for customers through the ability to pay upon exit instead of immediately after parking and with a new flat-rate fee structure. Further, more payment options, such as mobile pay and accepting credit and debit cards will now available. The process of parking will be consistent among all City parking garages allowing for ease of use. The gate arms will also allow Parking Utility staff to obtain data, such as how many users each garage has, the times of day that are busiest and how long customers are parking for. This data will allow Parking Utility to determine future business operations.

For a list on where the City’s parking garages are, please visit