Thursday, June 14, 2007

Santa Monica Parking Meters-Santa MoniCard

Santa Monica's got a lot of money to burn. So it was no surprise to me when the Santa Monica Daily Press reported that City Hall spent $1.8 million a couple of years ago to replace the city’s 6,600 parking meters with new ones that include a slot where the thin, plastic cards can be inserted. What I do find strange is that after this great effort, they've done very little to publicize these upgrades.

I really wanted one to help reduce the weight and clutter in my purse. Yes, I'm that focused on details. After calling around and speaking to a few different people, I finally found the office that sold these elusive cards. It's not at City Hall, but in a non-descript office about a mile away. If you want to buy a card or reload it, it has to be done at this office as City Hall does not have the equipment needed. At least that's what they told me.

Here's the breakdown:

-Cards can be purchased for $2.
-You can reload your card in increments of $10, 20, 50, 100, or 120 for a maximum of $120.
-They only accept cash or checks.
-You should be able to use your card anywhere in the city, though I've found a few that will only take coins despite having the slot.
-It's a convenience card, so don't expect a discount for usage.

For more information, call City Hall's parking office at (310) 458-8295. Or stop by the office at 429 Santa Monica Blvd. (Union Bank building), room 350.

Update: They now accept credit cards, and you can reload for any amount (up to $200, if I remember correctly). While cards are now available for purchase ($2) at certain Santa Monica locations (e.g., Santa Monica main library), you can still only reload your card at the office listed above.


Adrienne said...

Thank you for the info. Your blog post is more helpful than the santa monica city web page! ;)

deepstructure said...

assuming the information is still up to date, i second the above comment!

Anonymous said...

I third these comments. The Santa Monica city web page is a joke. Thank you for taking the time to post this valid information.