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With Meter Rates Up, City Needs New Facilities to Count the Coins

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, at 01:23PM
Parking Meter Eric Richardson [Flickr]

This meter on Olive now charges $4 per hour.

Parking meter rates around Downtown doubled this summer, and the city's expecting similar changes citywide to net an additional $18 million in revenue. While new meter technologies make it possible to pay with a credit card in some locations, those new rates mean the city's having to handle quite an expanded load of coins.

A motion before council this morning authorized the transfer of $712,293 dollars to allow the General Services Department to perform the expansion work. The money comes out of the city's Special Parking Revenue Fund, and was included in the fiscal year 2008-2009 budget. The city's Parking Management coin counting facilities are at Piper Technical Center, on the northeast edge of Downtown next to Union Station.

Along with new meter rates, the city also this summer accelerated the implementation of new parking meter and pay station technologies. Pay stations, which handle payment for multiple spots on a block, have been aggressively deployed around Downtown since October. Along with coins, the pay stations accept payment via credit card.

An eventual wider deployment could lead to more parkers using new forms of payment and less coins going into meters. That would mean less money spent on collection and sorting. Despite recent advances, though, given that a 2006 LADOT parking report indicated that the city manages over 45,000 meters, they may still need those coin counting facilities for a bit longer.

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