Three districts in Beijing are rolling out electronic parking meters to improve order on the city’s roadsides.
More than 13,000 electronic parking meters have been installed along the roads in Beijing’s Dongcheng, Xicheng and Tongzhou districts, Rong Jun, deputy director of the city’s municipal transport commission, said at a news conference during the second session of the 15th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress on Jan 15.
Rong said 166 roads with 13,644 parking spaces in three pilot districts will be reorganized.
“It also will become much easier for drivers to tell which areas are suitable for parking,” he said.
The electronic devices will measure how long a car is parked and calculate the fee.
More than 500,000 vehicles park along the capital’s streets every night, according to the city’s transport commission, while there are only 70,000 marked spots.
This results in cars randomly parked on the streets, occupying bicycle lanes, community green spaces and fire access lanes.
Huang Yubin, 32, from Haidian district who had been driving in Beijing for eight years, said the parking difficulties had bothered him some time.
“Especially in downtown areas, such as Wangfujing Street, I need to spend twice the time to search for the right parking spot, and the fee is also double,” he said. “The electronic toll will open up more spaces and save me time.”
A driver for Didi, the car-hailing service, surnamed Zhang, said finding a parking spot is a headache for him every night. He said the electronic parking fees might be higher as the city’s current parking standard doesn’t charge for the first 15 minutes.
In the daytime it costs 2.5 yuan for every 15 minutes, and 15 yuan per hour at night, Zhang said. “When the electronic meters are put into use, the meters will be more accurate.”
Parking signs in Beijing have been upgraded, and some parking spots have been highlighted with white lines.
According to the city’s municipal transport commission, six districts in the downtown area of the capital will be using the electronic parking meters by July.
Deputies and experts at the city’s two sessions applauded the move.
Pei Hongwei, president of the Beijing Municipal Road and Bridge Group, a deputy to the Beijing People’s Congress, said, “The move will also largely solve the capital’s urban disease by making roads much cleaner.”