(File photo)

DOWNTOWN — Does your wallet feel lighter?

That may mean you’ve tried to park in Santa Monica recently.

Rates at meters, beach lots and municipal parking structures all increased Oct. 1, the result of a July 10 ordinance passed by the City Council to manage parking demand Downtown.

Parking meters jumped from $1 to $2 per hour in Downtown and at the beach, and Downtown parking structures are only free for the first 90 minutes. After that, it’s $1 for the next hour and then $1.50 every half hour after for a daily maximum of $14.

On Sundays, they’re free from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

That’s a big jump from the two hours free and $1 per hour after for a daily maximum of $9 in place prior to the switch.

At the Central Beach Lot, parking will cost $12 in the summer, but in the winter it will be split with $6 on a weekday and $8 on a weekend. Both the North and South lots will cost $8 on a weekday and $10 on a weekend during the summer and $6 on a weekday and $8 on a weekend during the winter.

The South Lot will be free after 4 p.m. during the winter.

Main Street was spared from the rate increases. Meters will remain $1 per hour, and the lots will cost 50 cents per half hour.

Only the Civic Center structure and the parking lot at the Main Library will actually see a price reduction. The first 30 minutes are free and each additional hour is $1, with a daily maximum of $5.

The rates have only been in place for two days, but not many people have complained, said Don Patterson, assistant director of the Finance Department.

“We did have all the ads, stories and signage in the lots and structures, and we previously met with all of the community and business groups, so it seems people got the word,” Patterson said.

Not everyone is thrilled with the price increases, but at least one private business is offering to step in.

ParkMe, a company that helps people find the cheapest parking near them through a smartphone and computer application, is promising to pay for parking meters at every Farmers’ Market in Santa Monica through the month of October.

If you see a person in a black ParkMe T-shirt, flag them down and say, “Hi,” said Kevin Blomberg, of ParkMe.

 

ashley@smdp.com

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