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Experimental Downtown Parking Program Lowering Rates, Filling Spaces, Spreading to Westwood

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The time-honored activity of hunting for a parking space has been altered forever (for two years) in Downtown by LADOT's ExpressPark pilot program, which took over thousands of meters and city-owned parking spots, giving them demand-based pricing based on data collected by parking-space sensors—the higher the demand, the higher the hourly rate, more or less. (The data is also used by third-party apps to alert drivers to open spots.) Turns out ExpressPark is doing exactly what LADOT hoped it would, the program's project manager tells KCET. Average hourly rates are down and more people are finding spots (occupancy is up). Here are all the stats:

· ExpressPark has 6,000 metered spaces and 7,500 spots in city-owned lots in four and a half square miles of Downtown.
· The pre-ExpressPark average hourly rate at metered spots was $1.95 per hour in the area; now, the average has drooped to $1.76 per hour.
· Before ExpressPark, hourly rates for parking ran from $1 to $4; now they're $1 to $6 an hour.
· Ok, that seems like a lot more to be paying for parking, but keep in mind there are a whopping 3,700 spaces that, at some times during the week, cost only $.50 an hour under the demand-based rates.
· Parking revenue from the ExpressPark area has gone up 2.5 percent, "while the the average price has gone down at about 11 percent of spaces," says ExpressPark's project manager, Peer Ghent (he does admit that it's hard to prove that this is all due to ExpressPark without a control group; it could just be because Downtown keeps getting hipper and more people want to be there).
· Initially intended to run as a mere pilot program from May 2012 to May 2013, ExpressPark will draw from parking revenue to continue through June 2015.

ExpressPark's success is already helping it grow to other areas where parking is notoriously rage-inducing. The program is headed into Westwood Village and should hit Hollywood in 2015.
· L.A.'s Demand-Based Parking Program Moving in 'Exactly the Right Direction' [KCET]
· Here's How Downtown's New Variable Parking Pricing Works [Curbed LA]