Looking to improve parking, Boston turns to L.A. and Seattle

Seven years ago, Los Angeles transportation officials launched a major initiative to manage parking by increasing meter rates during higher demand. Critics in the car-loving city of 4 million grumbled, but the program worked out well — doubling parking meter revenue.

“As soon as the price went up, people kept [using] the meters,” said Bruce Gillman, spokesman for the Los Angeles Transportation Department.

Boston officials now plan to increase parking meter rates, following similar initiatives in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., part of a trend that uses real-time pricing and performance data to encourage drivers in and out of parking spots.

Like those in Los Angeles, Boston area drivers are not taking kindly to the price hikes, but Boston officials are moving forward with their plan to make more money from those hundreds of rectangles of asphalt around Boston.

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