Montgomery County will begin converting 840 of Bethesda's on-street parking meters to "smart" meters that will accept multiple forms of payment, officials said Monday.
The new system, which will use the existing meters' poles, will replace the inner workings with new technology and allow users to pay with credit cards, debit cards or coins, or use a pay-by-cellphone option.
Officials say the new meters will encourage downtown parking by offering an easier way to pay, in turn helping local businesses.
One form of payment that will not be accepted is the old system of "cash keys." Customers with old cash keys can take them to the Bethesda Parking Store (4720 Cheltenham Drive) and trade them for a voucher card which will scan like a credit card at meters.
Officials say that all 840 meters are expected to be switched to smart within a week.