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Most Popular Downtown Parking Spots Could Get Very Pricey Soon

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ExpressPark, Metro's congestion pricing for parking is kicking off next month (the City Council approved a contract for the project on Friday). You should start seeing new rates in a large swath of Downtown during a pilot program starting in April 2012. The LA Times says that "Currently, parking meter prices are based on an archaic system set by geographic boundaries," but that the ExpressPark program will measure demand and how long cars stay parked in certain spaces and adjust the meter rates accordingly. Here's what you need to know:

Area covered by the pilot program: about four and a half square miles covering most of Downtown to Alameda St. on the east (see map)
Number of those newish credit card meters being moved and replaced with even newer meters for ExpressPark: about 3,500
Number of on-street meters in the ExpressPark program: about 6,000
Number of public parking lot spaces in the program: about 7,500
Public parking lots in the program: they include Pershing Square, LA Mall, El Pueblo, Convention Center, Aiso Street Garage, and Cathedral Parking, according to a July report from the city administrative officer
How often will rates change?: once a month at most spots, but it could be more often in some areas
Possible rate range: .50 cents to $6--current meter rates are $1 to $4 and they won't be adjusted more than 50% in either direction, according to the LAT
· New L.A. parking meter plan gets ticking [LAT]
· ExpressPark Would Tell Downtowners Where to Park And How Much to Pay [Curbed LA]