Demand-Based Pricing Strategy in Los Angeles Parking Management System Led to a 37 Percent Reduction in Parking Duration for Downtown LA.

Study Evaluated Impact of LA's Express Park system Implemented Across Four Key Urban Areas (Downtown LA, Westwood, Hollywood, and Venice) from 2016 to 2021.

Date Posted

LA Express Park: Parking Smarter with Demand Pricing

Summary Information

Demand-based parking strategies use technology to increase the availability of limited parking spaces especially in busy urban areas, reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, and encourage the use of alternative transportation modes. This study summarized the results from the evaluation of the Los Angeles (LA) Express Park system in downtown LA, a parking demand management program implemented in May 2012 to reduce parking demand at over-occupied areas, and increase demand on underutilized blocks. Sensors were installed in parking spots to measure occupancy levels and transmit this information to the parking management system. This occupancy data is then combined with data from parking meters to inform the optimization of parking rates, time restrictions, and operating hours. The system encompassed 4.5 square miles in downtown LA, with the goal of potentially reducing congestion while allowing drivers to take advantage of discounted parking fees when parked farther out from downtown blocks. After achieving success in downtown LA, the system was expanded to Westwood in November 2015, Hollywood in June 2018, and Venice in July 2019. This study also summarized some findings based on data from 2016-2021 for all four of the implementation sites.


The LA Express Park program relied heavily on hardware, including parking meters, guidance systems, in-ground sensors, and a highly integrated back-end system that utilized strong data analytics as well as an advanced pricing engine. The advanced pricing engine generated occupancy and payment data and provided real-time information for drivers looking for available spaces, as well as for law enforcement officers to identify unpaid parking violators. Specifically, the LA Express Park system had four components: (i) The advanced pricing engine uses analytics to provide real-time data on meter payments, sensor-based occupancy, dynamic rates, and operational hours, while also offering parking guidance via signage, websites, and smartphone apps, (ii) The integrated parking meter technology enabled pay stations to serve multiple parking spaces on a single block and established parking rates based on parking demand, time of day, and length of stay, (iii) Vehicle sensors generated occupancy data, which is used to fine-tune parking rates, time limits, and hours of operation, (iv) The parking guidance system displays live space availability on Dynamic Message Signs, includes voice-recognition for smartphones, and offers web-based applications for other users. Program metrics, such as hourly rate change, change in parking duration, percentage of blocks achieving target occupancy were collected to evaluate the program.


  • The results for all four of the sites pointed to a faster circulation of traffic with 37 percent reduction in parking duration for downtown LA, 26 percent reduction for Venice, and 19 percent reduction for Hollywood. The reported reductions in Westwood were marginal.
  • Results for downtown LA evaluation of LA Express Park system revealed a 10 percent increase in parking availability.
  • Downton LA results also indicated a 16 percent increase in parking revenues in some areas.
Results Type
Deployment Locations