Out of the city's 40,000 meters around 15,000 have been upgraded to credit-card use parking meters in the city of Los Angeles. It seems to have become an instant hit and has already raked in $230,000 in the last month alone. It has also proved to be a reliable service to motorists.
This seems to be an innovative user-friendly move to ease parking in the city. "A huge proponent of easy parking in the city", stated Labonge. He also stated that he wanted to have more of the coin and card meters installed in the city to ease parking woes. The generation of revenue projected by the Department of Transportation was around 1.5 million dollars per year as per statements made by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. This revenue was to be earned by the 10,000 parking meters that were installed in the city. However, exceeding the projections, in the month of September alone the revenue earned had exceeded around quarter million dollars. The revenue had started pouring in from the month of May itself, when some of the coin and card parking meters were installed. The additional earnings up to a tune of around $230,000 in one month alone would go a long way in being a contributing factor in increasing the finances in the city of Los Angeles.
While the charges are the same amounting to $1 to $4 per hour, based on the time as well as the location, AmEx, MasterCard, as well as Visa cards are accepted. The design is also tried and tested and relatively maintenance free. Only the top part of the meters were to be replaced with new ones while keeping the poles intact as they were much more resistant to any kind of vandalism or damage. It was also self-sustaining in the sense; it used solar power and also sent wireless signals to technical staff in case of failure or when it needed repairs.
Lisa Hansen, associate director, Department of Transportation stated that these meters had been in perfect order almost 99% of the time and hence reducing the burden on the already short-staffed LADOT and thereby increasing the revenue earned. The usage of AA batteries would also be reduced drastically.
Assistant General Manager, LADOT, was quoted as saying that their department was in the process of upgrading additional meters. Leasing Coin and Card meters for a period of three years was also on the anvil, and this would be followed by ownership. However, if the revenue earned is lesser than the lease amount, then the city would be expected the amount that is lower among the two.