By Deane Barker on January 8, 2012

Between the Lines: Los Angeles is trying to solve its parking problem by using technology to  price parking spots by supply and demand, in real-time.

Called ExpressPark, the 6,000-meter array will be installed on downtown streets and lots, along with sensors buried in the pavement of every parking spot to detect the presence of cars and price accordingly, from as little as 50 cents an hour to $6. Street parking, like pork bellies, will be open to market forces. As blocks fill, prices will rise; when occupancy drops, so will rates. In an area like downtown, ideal for Shoup’s progressive pricing, people will park based on how much they’re willing to pay versus how far they are willing to walk to a destination.

So, the price for a spot will vary based on how often its filled vs. empty, and how many other spots are available in the immediate vicinity.

ExpressPark is just one item in a larger, excellent article about the problem of parking in general in Los Angeles.

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