New parking machines in downtown Ottawa will change the way motorists park their cars in the downtown core, enhancing the city's streetscapes by eliminating clutter.

Ottawa's Little Italy will be the first to start using the new pay and display machines this week as the city moves away from parking metres.

The new machines will accept credit cards and cash. It will eventually also accept city-issued smart cards and payment by mobile phone. Motorists must find the nearest machine, purchase a ticket and display it in their window.

The new method will eliminate 4,000 existing parking metres from downtown streets and replace them with 600 new machines, which are powered by solar energy and don't require batteries.

The new parking machines will also end the ability to park on someone else's dime when drivers leave money on the metre.

Instead of paying to use a particular parking space, motorists can transfer their ticket and use it to park at other parking spaces within the city.

The woman in charge of the Preston Street Business Improvement Association says she believes the new parking machines will benefit motorists.

"The best thing about those tickets is that they're portable. If you bought two hours at this machine, you could move to any area in Ottawa where there's legal parking and that two hours would still be valid," said Lori Mellor of the Preston Street BIA.

The ticket also acts as a receipt, making it easier for people to claim parking as a business expense.

Although the city is upgrading its parking technology, it says existing parking rates and restrictions won't change.

The new system was already brought in as a trial in the Byward Market. However, motorists who've used it have mixed opinions.

While some say the machines make it more convenient to pay, others say it's a nuisance.

"It is a bit of a pain having to get to the machines, especially in the dead of winter," said one female motorist.

However, the city says no one should have to walk more than 30 metres from their parking spot to buy a ticket.

First-time users who need assistance using the new pay and display machines will be able to get help on-site. Street ambassadors will staff each location with someone wearing a green T-shirt to help explain the new system.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Stefan Keyes