New parking meters to bring in extra revenue

LOS ANGELES The idea is to make it more convenient for motorists, while generating more revenue.

"They communicate wirelessly so the credit card information is secure. And basically it makes it very convenient for the motorist to actually pay for parking," said Dennis Frey, an IPS Group engineer.

The city plans to install 10,000 coin-and-card parking meters in high-traffic areas. The devices are expected to bring in $1 million to $1.5 million every year, or about half of the city's annual parking meter revenue.

"We know they work and meter revenue has increased nearly 40 percent on average where card and coin meters are installed," said L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

About 500 new meters are already installed, and the rest will be installed before July 1.

The coin-and-card parking meters will charge the same rate as the old ones -- $1 to $4 per hour depending on location and time of day -- and accept Visa, Mastercard and Discover.

The new machines not only generate more money, but they are also easier to maintain. The solar-powered devices will send a wireless message to a technician if they are broken or vandalized, so the city can respond more quickly.

In addition to generating more revenue, city officials say they should last longer than the old meters.

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