Downtown Columbia has a very vital and growing business district, and with Stephens College, Columbia College and the University of Missouri outlining downtown, there is limited parking. The Municipal Parking Utility maintains all parking garages, surface lots and street meters.
There are six multi-level parking garages in downtownColumbia. The six facilities have a total of 2,300 parking spaces. Parking garages are made up of hourly, permit and reserved spaces. The hourly spaces at Seventh and Walnut currently use a ticket and attendant system. The remaining parking garages utilize pay machines that use a payment-inadvance concept, with the exception of Eighth and Cherry and Short Street, which have parking meters at each hourly space. The payment machines are located at the facility exits. Patrons are required to take note of their parking space as they park and then pay the machine for the space and anticipated period they will be parked there.