Miami Beach Introduces New In-Car Parking Meter

Miami Beach joins the “i” revolution just in time for the holidays. The City is taking the hassle out of paying for public parking with the introduction of the iPark device. The smart high-tech parking meter stays in your car — no more fumbling for change or even getting out of the car to pay for parking.

iPark is available for $20 and, for a limited time, Miami Beach residents receive $20 of pre-loaded parking time on the device and non-residents will receive $10 pre-loaded parking time at no extra cost. iPark makes the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the holidays or anytime. The iPark is available for purchase at the Miami Beach Parking Department, located at 309 23 Street, Suite 200, near Collins Park.

The advantages of the iPark device (1.0) are as follows:

No bills, credit card, coins, or smart cards are required.

No meters or pay stations to deal with during inclement weather.

From the comfort of inside their vehicle, the user simply activates and displays (driver’s side dashboard) their iPark device.

User pays only for the parking time used, which is the same benefit, derived from the former parking smart card “refund” feature.

Reloads are available via telephone or at the City’s Parking Department.

Miami Beach residents receive a 20% discount ($1.25 per hour is discounted to $1.00 per hour, with proof of residency)

iPark is a state-of-the-art, electronic device about the size of a pocket calculator and has a preloaded (parking time) value, which can be replenished as needed. When activated and displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard, in the appropriate parking zone, the iPark device acts as a parking meter [in-vehicle] which decrements time.  When the driver returns to the car, he or she simply turns off the device ending the parking session.  A further benefit of iPark is that the driver is only charged for the actual time spent.

Rates and other information are displayed on the easy-to-read screen. Drivers simply select the proper iPark zone (A, B or C) which is indicated on the single and multi-space meters, start the parking session, and place the device near the windshield with the screen facing out so it can be read by the City’s Parking Department personnel. The screen displays a digital clock, which counts down the time remaining. And the iPark device is multilingual – it can be read in English, Spanish, or French.

Users can reload the iPark device by phone, or at the City of Miami Beach Parking Department. ePark Systems, the vendor of the iPark device, is already developing their next generation iPark, which will have connectivity (USB) via the Internet for reloads and utilization data.  The 2.0 version is expected to be available in the coming year.

Effective Monday, November 24, 2008, the City’s Parking Department will also commence the transition of new parking meter rates in South Beach (south of 23 Street) from $1.00 per hour to $1.25 per hour.

On September 17, 2008, the Mayor and Commission approved a parking rate adjustment for all metered parking south of 23 Street from $1.00 per hour to $1.25 per hour.  All other areas north of 23 Street shall remain at their current meter rates of $0.50 per hour and $1.00 per hour. The Mayor and Commission conditionally approved the parking meter rate adjustment with the implementation of an in-car parking meter, the iPark device.

Miami Beach is not the first community to offer iPark. Other successful iPark implementations have included Tampa, Florida, Arlington, Virginia, Manchester, New Hampshire, and throughout the European market.

“The way municipalities look at parking is changing, and changing fast,” said Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower. “The costs associated with traditional parking meters continue to rise and, the fact is, the old parking meters are outdated and outmoded. Our Parking Department has done their homework by looking at different parking payment options available today.”  Mayor Bower concluded, “We are confident we have chosen the wave of the future – parking payments made from your car, not out on the street.”

For more information on Miami Beach Parking, contact Saul Frances at 305.673.7505. For information on the iPark product or ePark Systems, contact Jake Jacobi, North River Consulting, Inc. at 904.823.3645.