New, “smart,” variable rate parking payment machines will be installed around Capitol Hill streets later this year with Pike/Pine to follow in 2016 in a $20 million overhaul of Seattle’s paid street parking system.
The new machines are first being installed in Pioneer Square. Provided by contractor IPS Group, the new machines will reportedly perform better than the current fleet of persnickety machines on the city’s streets. “The older technology in the current pay stations is slower to process transactions, provides less reliable cellular communication and includes old credit card readers no longer supported by the vendor,” a Seattle Department of Transportation statement on the new machines reads.
12th Ave, Cherry Hill, and First Hill installations will also follow in 2016.
The new machines will allow SDOT to vary paid parking prices by time of day. Here’s how it will work in Pioneer Square, via the Seattle Times:
Rates in Pioneer Square’s retail core, centered at First Avenue and Yesler Way, will be $3 per hour from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., then $4 per hour from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Current rates are $3.50 per hour all day.
SDOT says Capitol Hill parking zones will have prices adjusted as part of an ongoing optimization process to balance parking costs with demand. “Improving the parking experience and helping people find parking faster means less congestion from circling traffic and reduced vehicle emissions,” SDOT explains. “Occupancy data are gathered every year in the spring. The data are analyzed, determinations on rate adjustments made in July, and rate adjustments occur in the summer and fall.” In 2011, Seattle also began extending its paid parking periods into high-demand nighttime areas including Capitol Hill.
Meanwhile, SDOT says the new machines will also be much more reliable and easier to manage:
The New pay stations will provide a higher level of customer service and communications reliability. Credit card transaction times will decrease. New credit card readers allow the user to maintain control of their card. New back-office software will improve our ability to detect problems remotely and fix them faster. Changes to rates will be made wirelessly from the office instead of downloaded manually at each machine. The new pay stations will allow for “time of day” pricing, with lower parking rates in the morning or other times of less demand.
The installation schedule and more information can be found here.
Scheduled for 2015 installation: Capitol Hill, Chinatown-ID, Commercial Core, South Lake Union.
Scheduled for 2016 installation: 12th Avenue, Ballard, Ballard Locks, Belltown, Cherry Hill, Denny Triangle, First Hill, Fremont, Green Lake, Pike-Pine, Roosevelt, University District, Uptown, Uptown Triangle, Westlake Avenue North.