Last month, we got the heads up that Metro was going to be slowly rolling out paid parking at some of it stations around Los Angeles. Today, we know that the first three to test drive the paid parking pilot program will be the Metro lots at lots at Sepulveda, Bundy, and 17th Street, near stations on the Expo Line that haven’t opened yet, Streetsblog LA reports. (The Expo extension from Culver City to Santa Monica opens May 20.) The first phase of the pilot, approved by Metro’s Planning and Programming Committee, should be expanded to nine stations by late this year.
TAP-card-carrying drivers will experience the system differently than those new riders who don’t have a TAP card yet.
Drivers with a TAP card will show their card to a parking attendant who will be equipped with a card reader similar to those used by fare enforcers who check cards at stations and on trains. If the reader shows that the card was used within the last 96 hours, that cardholder can get the transit rider parking price, pay or flash their monthly permit, and park.
New transit riders will get an “exemption ticket” from the attendant. They’d put that on their car. They can pay online (using the ticket number) or pay the attendant directly when they leave. “[T]hey subsequently have to link their TAP payment to their parking, either online or in person with a parking attendant,” says SBLA.
Though past outlines of the paid parking plan had included (much higher) pricing for non-riders at the pay lots, “ultimately the committee directed staff to not allow non-transit riders for the initial three-station pilot phase.”
Metro is also looking for creative ways to keep people who don’t ride the train but hope to enjoy Metro’s cheap parking from buying up the monthly parking passes. The pilot will require parking pass holders to use the train 10 times a month or more, or else they’ll find themselves unable to renew their permit.