San Diego Testing Solar Powered Parking Meters.

A four-month pilot project was conducted by the City of San Diego in cooperation with the Uptown and Downtown Community Parking Districts to evaluate new high-tech single-space parking meter mechanisms. The pilot was conducted to determine the suitability of this enhanced technology for broader use within San Diego.

Unlike old, battery-powered models, the high-tech meters allow users to pay with coins, a credit card, or a reusable, rechargeable parking debit card. The systems meet the Payment Card Industry (PCI) security standards and IPS is a level-one PCI-certified vendor. Once a card is swiped, it is encrypted and authorized. The meters do not store full credit card information and the information is not kept on file.

Solar Powered Parking Meters
Solar Powered Parking Meter in San Diego, CA.
Image by Your Solar Link.

The new mechanisms are quickly and easily installed in existing single-space meter housings/poles. The solar-powered mechanisms are more environmentally friendly than existing single-space meters reducing battery usage and disposal when compared to existing mechanisms. Real-time communication capabilities provide more complete and timely information/statistics, allow greater flexibility and control of parking meter rates and include more robust displays with better information and instructions for users. The technology also provides a broader range of payment options including credit cards and is one of many important components necessary to better manage City parking resources.

Solar Powered Parking Meters
The Solar Powered Parking Meter in San Diego, CA.
Image by Your Solar Link.

51 of the enhanced mechanisms were installed in existing City single-space parking meters at various Uptown and Downtown locations.

Project Highlights.

Number of Meters: 51
Mechanism Vendor: IPS Group, Inc
Pilot Project Areas: 3800 4th Ave (24 meters)
600 West G St (5 meters)
600 6th Ave (13 meters)
500 Market St (6 meters)
600 5th Ave (3 meters)
Evaluation Criteria: Evaluation Criteria for Enhanced Mechanism Pilot (PDF: 9K)
Payment Methods: Credit card, coin, pre-paid parking value card
Key Stakeholders: City of San Diego, Uptown Partnership, Uptown Community Parking District, Center City Development Corporation, Downtown Community Parking District, Downtown Parking Management Group.

Check out this vendor installation demonstration video.

So far, the high-tech meters have increased revenue, decreased labor and produced valuable data for the city.




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