Installation of Smart Parking Meters Begin in Long Beach

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Parking meters got smarter Monday in Long Beach, with the start of installation of more than 1,600 smart meters. The City Council in December 2014 approved the replacement with new, smart meters that accept credit/debit cards in addition to coins. The smart meters will improve Long Beach’s on-street parking to meet consumer needs and desire for payment convenience.

“Smart meters are part of the City’s efforts to innovate and provide more efficient services to the community. We’re upgrading our parking infrastructure to make parking easier for motorists,” said Mayor Robert Garcia.

The smart meters will replace coin-only on-street meters in Downtown, Belmont Shore, and The Pike. As installations occur over a four- week period, new rates will take effect immediately, including the City’s “First Five Free” program which will allow drivers to park free for five minutes, to conduct quick errands. New rates are posted below.

“The First Five Free program will help serve our local businesses by allowing patrons who need to make quick pick-ups and drop-offs the opportunity to do so without having to pay for parking,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.

These new smart meters have a host of user-friendly features, including large, backlit screens that can inform motorists when a meter is not enforced for a holiday or special event. Users can also pre-pay up time at a meter, up to two hours before enforcement begins. Users will also eventually be able to locate parking on a smart phone app that identifies open spaces.

“We are excited to move forward with technology. These smart meters will lay the foundation for additional parking enhancements, including the eventual ability for smart phones to identify open spaces on the street,” said Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez.

Sensors will also be installed. Data collected from these smart meters will help determine whether the enforcement hours reflect the actual use of the space, and if a meter’s placement or hours should be reassessed. These new meters can determine the availability of a space, the occupancy rate of the space, the length of time per occupant, and the turnover rate. The City’s existing parking meters do not collect this data.

“Parking rates in Long Beach will remain at or below the rates charged by other cities for parking,” said Councilwoman Suzie Price.

The City of Long Beach will continue to maintain its practice of Net Revenue Neutrality, so the costs of these meters do not exceed revenue collected.

To learn how to use the meters, you can watch this video here:

English: https://vimeo.com/65824595
Spanish: https://vimeo.com/78631983

The City reminds residents and patrons with Cash Keys that the new smart meters will not accept Cash Keys. Smart meters will accept credit cards at no extra fee. Customers with remaining time on their Cash Keys may currently use it in City lots that have older, coin-only model meters. However, these lots will be also be upgraded to multi-space meters that accept credit cards in the near future.

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