Extended parking meter hours are expected to net Phoenix more than $1 million in extra revenue this year, but local businesses aren't sure the changes help their bottom lines.
Downtown visitors must feed the meters until 10 p.m. every day, including weekends and holidays. Phoenix City Council made the changes in 2014, and citywide rates remain $1.50 per hour.
City parking managers said the changes are designed to make more street parking spots available throughout the evening, instead of one car using a spot all night.
"You are not guaranteed, but you are always going to find a parking space within a block of your business," Phoenix Parking Manager Ben Carpenter said.
Some downtown business owners said their customers are still seeing metered parking as a hassle. Zpizza owner Stephan Olson arranged for free lot parking for his 1st Avenue location, hoping to attract more customers in the competitive restaurant industry.
"Unless you are coming down for a basketball event or something at one of the theaters, you don't need to pay [for parking] if you stop at a mall and eat or drink," Olson said.