City Expands Parking Meter Sensors

Beginning May 14, 2012, the City will be expanding the use of parking meter sensors. The sensors are part of the new credit card and phone-enabled parking meters installed over the past several months and represent the latest in parking meter technology. The meter sensors, along with the new meters, provide significantly improved parking management tools as well as customer service enhancements. Highlights of the new parking meters include:

  • Improved customer experience by allowing payments by credit card, phone or coin. Customers who pay by phone can receive text messages when the meter is about to expire and can remotely add more time up to the posted time limit.
  • Enhanced parking data through real-time, daily, and monthly reports of parking space usage, regardless of whether the meter was paid or not. This, combined with the ability to track average length of stay, will allow the City to better manage parking space time limits and provide data to adjust time limits where needed to meet demand.
  • Future expansion of real-time parking maps to include on-street parking spaces. Ultimately customers will be able to use online and mobile applications for parking guidance and information, enhancing the public’s ability to find available parking spaces.
  • The meters, with sensors, also require all customers to pay for all of the time they park at the space by resetting the meter when a vehicle vacates the spot, encouraging the parking space to turn over. This is similar to long-standing operations of the City’s off-street parking facilities.

The parking meters with sensors also ensure compliance with existing time limit restrictions by preventing the same vehicle from parking beyond the posted time limit. The meters equipped with sensors will alert the customer by displaying a message, “max time exceeded,” and preventing further payment. Currently “feeding” the meter beyond the posted time limit is prohibited and subject to a $64 citation. Long term parking is available in City-owned parking lots and structures.

The new sensors will be installed over the next year beginning in downtown locations that don’t currently have them. Parking will be restricted for up to one day at up to 100 metered spaces per day during the installation. Locations scheduled for street resurfacing or other work will be delayed until the other planned work is completed to minimize inconvenience to the public.

The City first installed parking meter sensors on select blocks in Downtown in March 2011 as part of the initial pilot project to replace the old coin-only parking meters. Coupled with other ongoing efforts, the City is continually working to improve the access and availability of public parking.

city of Santa Monica


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