Edmontonians may soon be able to pay for on-street parking using debit, credit card or a smartphone.

City council is considering a replacement of the old coin-fed meters as part of its overall parking management review.

"I think that'd be great," said Becky Bonham, a mother of four. "The option to do it by cellphone, I think, is ideal for me as a mom because it's carting the kids around that is a huge issue, just to run back to plug the meters."

While the city wants to make payment more convenient, the report also suggests increasing the number of metered spots by 20 per cent, as well as extending the hours for paid parking.

Resident Chris Samuel is torn by any move to increase parking downtown.

"I think the big thing is to encourage more people to take transit or leave their cars at home when they're getting around," he said.

Longer hours for meters

Drivers could also soon see an end to free evening parking in downtown Edmonton.

The city is considering a proposal to increase the hours of operation for parking meters in the the core.

Currently, most of Edmonton’s 4000 parking meters allow free parking after 6 p.m. and bring in more than $6 million dollars annually.

Lengthening those hours is a plan that doesn’t sit well with some downtown business owners who think that it might keep shoppers away from the centre of the city.

"For me, lots of times after work, it's after six, I don’t have to worry about having change in my pocket. I can grab a coffee and then I can go," said Peter Turner, who has run his business downtown for three decades.   Drivers like Linda Goldring also think that it’s the wrong move, at a time when the city is trying to bring more people to the core.

"If we want to revitalize downtown, I think it's the wrong way to go," she said.

Councillors will discuss the report at next week's executive committee meeting.