In a city not known for public transportation, it makes sense that parking fees are Los Angeles and Southern California’s largest generator of economic activity. In an initiative to make parking easier to find, and price out meter fees based on demand, LA Express was unveiled by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on May 22nd to the watchful eyes of the rest of the nation.
Basically what this system, developed by Xerox of all companies will do, is use sensors underneath the asphalt on city streets to gauge parking demand and traffic patterns. When demand is high, the price of parking goes up, when it’s low demand, the prices drop. Just like oranges or any other commodity. The program is a one year trial backed by the LA Department of Transportation, funded by the U.S. DOT with $15mil grant, possibly growing to $29mil if the option to keep the program 2 additional years is added.
Over the past decade or so downtown LA has been busy improving itself, especially the area around Staples Center, LA Live and with the prospect of an NFL team moving in, the excitement and anticipation is palpable when you consider there could be a football stadium right there where the convention center currently sits. “Downtown is the heart and soul of Los Angeles, and has experienced significant growth over the last decade, LA Express Park’s dynamic system will make parking downtown easier, faster, and smarter for all Angelenos,” stated Villaraigosa on the day of the LA Express launch, May 22nd.
The LA Express Park demonstration or test area only involves City of LA-owned parking spaces and facilities in a 4.5 square mile area in Downtown. It will include around 6,000 high-tech parking meters that take debit/credit cards. Some additional information about the LA Express Park program can be found on the programs website. The program also works with parking apps Parker and ParkMobile – More information about the program can be found in the video below with Amir Sedadi from the LA DOT.