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High-tech L.A. parking meters will take credit and debit cards; sensors monitor when time's up

Parking meters

The days of lugging around fistfuls of quarters to feed hungry parking meters, or circling the block repeatedly in search of a parking space, could be nearing an end for downtown Los Angeles motorists.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation has begun installing 10,000 high-tech parking meters throughout the city that allow for credit-card and debit-card payment, in addition to coins. And next year, the downtown area will host an experimental program that aims to take much of the hassle out of parking.

The yearlong ExpressPark program, slated to begin next summer, will use not only new meters but also a network of wireless pavement sensors to keep track of parked vehicles in real time. The sensors will help transportation officials determine which meters are in use and which have expired. Eventually, roadside signs will guide motorists to empty spaces in municipal parking garages and lots.

The program — which involves only city-owned parking in a 4.5-square-mile area — will feature adjustable parking rates, or "dynamic pricing." In other words, when parking demand increases, meter rates increase; when demand drops, rates drop.

"ExpressPark will allow Los Angeles to take the lead in testing new ways to manage curb parking," said Donald C. Shoup, a UCLA professor of urban planning and a longtime proponent of pricing based on supply and demand.

Read more: "L.A. Program Aims to Make Parking Easier."

-- Martha Groves

Photo: Broken parking meters sit in a pile at the Piper Technical Center in Los Angeles. The city is replacing many coin-only meters with ones that also accept credit and debit cards. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (7)

Go downtown today and half the cars have handicapped parking tags and they can park there all day (and into the next) for free.

It doesn't matter what the rate is, if you don't have to pay it.

Now the politicians who are screeming L.A. is broke can spend all that money on parking meters on the credit card. But how will they split the proceeds up, will the credit card companies send them all a check at the end of the month or will they have to settle for their monthly envelopes.

My two thoughts on this are:

1) Does this mean we'll only get charged for time we're actually parked, or will they be rounding up to the nearest hour? The way it works now, if I leave 15 minutes on the meter, someone else gets that 15 minutes for free. This works to everyone's benefit. Knowing the way government works, they'll likely charge for the full hour, then charge the next driver full price as soon as you leave.

2) What precautions are being taken to stop identity thieves from taking advantage of these meters? I feel very wary of entrusting my credit card number to a machine to which anyone has access. How will we know which meters are real and which are dummies set up by thieves to harvest our credit and debit card data?

Cool! So how long before some hacker starts stealing card numbers from the meters?

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.The society is facing problems with such laws. This has to go legal and it’s needed to be sorted at the earlier.

Express Park will allow LosAngeles to take the lead in testing new ways to manage curb parking.Thanks a lots for sharing this information...

parking sensors

ar Parking sensors are ultrasonic sensors which provide information about the proximity of vehicles on the road while parking the car. Parking sensors use ultrasonic proximity sensors which are embedded in the front or rear of the car. The sensors measure the time taken for each sound pulse to be reflected back to the receiver. Parking sensors are the most common form of feedback to the driver of a car. It is due to this device that the level of collisions in India has reduced drastically.
Parking Sensors


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