Mirror Staff Writer
Motorists will no longer have to fumble around looking for change when parking at City parking meters because the City recently introduced SantaMoniCard.
The new card can be used at any City of Santa Monica parking meter, except at a handful of multi-bay meters (a meter that receives payment for more than one parking space). The card will work the same way as coins. The first time you put the card into the meter card slot the meter will display the remaining value on the card. To purchase time a motorist must make subsequent inserts (as if you were using coins). After each subsequent insert the meter will display the card value as well as the paid time.
Those wishing to purchase a card must pay $2 for each new card. The card is reloadable and does not expire. There is no fee to reload the card. The maximum amount you can put on a single card is $120 and the maximum card value that will be displayed on a meter is $99.99.
City transportation analyst Carlos Collard told the Mirror Tuesday that the idea grew out of the City’s mission to “continuously find ways of improving our public service.” He noted that the main advantage of the new card is you “can carry it in your wallet or car” instead of motorists having to be inconvenienced by looking for change. Motorists also “will no longer have to make extra stops to get change.”
The program, emphasized Collard, “is still in its infancy” because the City is working on the advertising campaign as well as internal procedures for revenue collection and personnel training.
All the City parking meters have been replaced over the last two years in order to handle this new program. The card contains a “smart module” to keep track of how much money it contains.
The City will not provide refunds for lost, stolen, damaged or unused cards.
The card can be purchased and reloaded at the City of Santa Monica Parking Office located at 429 Santa Monica Blvd, Suite 350, with a check or cash. The City recommends parking in City structures 3 or 5 when accessing this office since two hours of free parking are available there. More locations to purchase and reload the cards will be available in the future.
For more information, please call 310.458.8295 or go to http://parking.santa-monica.org.