Ready for a sweeping change in parking meters? You’d get credit card flexibility, for instance, but lose the ability to dip in and take over someone’s unexpired time.

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria on Friday announced a proposed contract to bring new smart parking meters to most of San Diego.

A form of parking meter that accepts credit cards. San Diego will consider more wide spread use of such meters. Pictured: Incoming Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

“Smart meters will vastly improve the parking experience for San Diegans and visitors who will no longer have to search for coins when they visit some of our most thriving neighborhoods,” Gloria said. “With more user-friendly parking meters, customers will be able to more easily patronize the small businesses throughout downtown, uptown and mid-city, contributing to the economic development of the city.”

The cooperative procurement contract with the city of Sacramento for the purchase of new single-space parking meters from IPS Group Inc. will be considered by the Budget and Government Efficiency Committee and then the full City Council in the coming weeks.

It is anticipated that installation of the new equipment could start within six weeks of contract approval. The smart meters would use the city’s existing meter poles and housings.

Under the proposed contract, about 97 percent of San Diego’s parking meters would be replaced. The new technology allows motorists to use a credit card to pay for parking. Several downtown areas already have similar machines.

The contract with IPS Group would be for an initial period ending in December 2018 and may allow for extensions. The estimated cost of the parking meter equipment ranges between $2.125 million and $3.4 million, and the total contract cost that the City Council will consider will also include additional related costs.

The city examined options for parking meter contracts, and Sacramento’s most closely matched San Diego’s specifications and bidding process. San Diego has entered into previous cooperative contracting agreements for multiple-space meters and has a cooperative agreement for back-office parking administration systems with the city of Inglewood.

– City News Service

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