San Diego parking meters will be getting a facelift in the near future.
On Tuesday, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his support of the installation of 5,000 “smart” parking meters throughout the city.
The modern meters have innovative and user-friendly features to ease the process of paid parking, according to a statement from the mayor's office. Drivers will now be able to pay via credit card or mobile device. The meters will also implement real-time revenue statistics to improve the exact time parked in a given location.
“Not having to rely on change to pay for parking is a big improvement for San Diego, and using mobile payments and real-time data is a sign that we’re embracing technology to improve the lives of residents and visitors,” Faulconer said.
San Diegans won’t have to wait long for modern meters to hit the streets because the new design is built in San Diego. The installation of the meters will also be quick because the new hardware is compatible with what is already in place, according to the statement.
On Tuesday, the City Council approved a not-to-exceed contract of $8.2 million funded by IPS Group, Inc. for the new meters. The rest of the money will come from savings by the city and the Community Parking District to pay for the renovation.
When the new meters are in place, their revenue will also provide for the ongoing cost of the five-year contract approved by the Mayor. Following early setbacks in the developing stages of the new meters coming to San Diego, the fifty smart meters currently in the Hillcrest area have seen an eight percent increase over the first year.
The city supports the San Diego-built meters because they will be immediately notified of repair or maintenance issues. Currently, the city can only be notified of defective meters if someone calls in an issue or a city employee stumbles upon broken meter.
San Diego is following behind 161 other cities, such as Los Angeles and Sacramento, that have recently transitions to the use of smart meters.