SPOKANE, Wash. -

Major parking changes are happening in downtown Spokane as credit cards are replacing coins at individual meters.

A city spokesman says using plastic to pay for parking is up 44 percent since 200 new 'smart' meters were installed two weeks ago. For some people, it's a relief.

"Sometimes I wouldn't come downtown because I'm like, 'Oh, I don't have any change,'" said driver Diane White.

David Starr said the technology takes time to learn.

"It's ok, actually, I like the credit card part of it. The meter is a little hard to read," Starr said.

If the meters are digesting well with parkers, the idea of the new sensors is causing heartburn. The sensors alert parking attendants if you've been re-feeding the meter, instead of leaving when your original time is up like you're supposed to. You could get a ticket, even if there's time left.

"I don't think I would like that because I'm one of those that goes and feeds my meter because I always end up staying downtown longer than I planned," Wright said.

The sensors also help the city make money by clearing the meter when you leave. So the next person won't receive the left over time if you overpay. It's an idea Werner Weber fully disagrees with.

"There was a half hour left and so I didn't have to pay anything if I just want to go inside the store. But now it goes back to zero. I think it's a rip off," he said.

The meters are currently installed along Main Street, parts of Howard, and near City Hall. Right now it's in a test phase, so the sensors are off and the time won't clear.

"We continue to monitor how they use that activity, and we'll make adjustments accordingly but so far so good. We've gotten good feedback and the equipment is performing as we expected it to perform," said Brian Coddington, spokesman for the City of Spokane.

The city plans to have 800 meters and sensors operating by mid-October. So there's only a little more left on the clock, for people to figure it out.