According to the Municipality of San José (MSJ), 42,000 people per day use electronic parking meters. Installed one year ago, 68 meters control access to 2,000 parking spaces in the city.
A goal of the project was to offer parking on the street at rates lower than paid parking lots. Indications are that the project is profitable, and the company that spent $1 million to install the meters will recover its investment in eight years. Between May and December of 2013, the city collected 100 million colones in parking fees. The private concessionaire’s share is 32 percent.
The meters however, have not reduced illegal parking in San Jose. The city still writes on average 5,000 parking violations per month. In 2013, this meant 350 million in fines to be paid to the city.
The meters do not accept coins or currency. Some users have complained about the need to walk up to 100 meters to pay a parking meter. However, these are not problems for the 20 percent of users who pay through their smart phones.
In the coming months other parking meters will be installed in La Sabana and Barrio Escalante. City officials hope to cover at least 3,000 spots by 2016.