New Smart Meters in South San Francisco


Park with one easy swipe!


In April 2016, The City of South San Francisco will begin installation of 215 new parking meters on Grand Avenue between Airport Boulevard and Walnut Avenue; Maple Avenue between Miller and Baden Avenues; and off-street parking lots near Buon Gusto and Toppers to provide more payment options for customers. The new meters accept coins, VISA, MasterCard and Discover credit cards. The new smart meters are easy-to-use and reliable, with a big screen that makes it easy to see all of the information, such as remaining time and time limits. 

How to use IPS Smart Meters

Customer convenience is the number one reason cities and universities around the world are upgrading their parking operations. IPS Meters are not only convenient because they take both credit cards and coins, but they also allow the parking public to pay where they park. Simply pull up, pay, and walk away. It’s that simple. Watch this Demonstration Video and see for yourself. Find answers to frequently asked questions about South San Francisco's smart meters in the FAQs section.



How it Works

Whether you’re shopping, dining, or conducting business downtown, parking has never been easier. Now you can park and swipe your credit card, credit card branded debit card or pay with coins.

Follow these easy steps to complete an easy-to-use parking experience:

  1. Look at the smart meter’s display to find parking rates, hours, time limits, and other important information. If it is dark, press any button to light the display.
  2. If paying with coins, insert them into the coin slot for the amount of time you’d like to park. Quarters, dimes, nickels, and $1 coins are accepted. You can park for a maximum of one hour at the meters and up to two hours in the lots.
  3. If paying with credit card or credit card branded debit card, insert and remove your card. The smart meter accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
  4. With the blue [+] and [-] buttons, select the amount of time. The cost is displayed underneath. The minimum charge for credit cards and credit card branded debit cards is $1.00
  5. Press the green [OK] button to confirm your payment, or red [CANCEL] button to stop your transaction. After 35 seconds, the meter will authorize the payment shown on the screen if neither button is pressed.
  6. Wait for authorization of the card.

*Please note that time purchased at a meter corresponds only to the adjoining parking spot. The time purchased is not transferable.



Why is the City of South San Francisco replacing the current downtown meters?

The current single-space meters are reaching their end of their useful life. The new smart single-space meters will not only be more reliable than the old meters, but if and when there are maintenance issues, the new smart meters will via wireless alert South San Francisco staff to address the problem quickly.

The second reason is to improve customer service. The current meters only accept coins, whereas the new smart meters will accept multiple forms of payment. We know that maintaining a supply of quarters and other change is inconvenient, so while the new meters will continue to accept coins, they will also allow credit and credit card branded debit cards.

Are the hours during which I have to pay for metered parking changing? 
Currently, the hours for parking payment will remain the same, which is Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., holidays excluded. With these new smart meters, the City is able to evaluate occupancy and stay times to determine if changes are warranted, based upon use. The new meters display the enforcement time and will display “Free Parking” during non-enforcement times.

When will the new meters be installed? 
In April 2016, 215 new smart meters will be installed on the 100 – 400 blocks of Grand Avenue, on the Grand Avenue off-street lots, and on the 200-300 block of Maple Avenue.

Will the metered parking cost the same as it does now?
At this time, there are no proposals to increase parking meter fees.

Why are we only doing particular meters on Grand and Walnut Avenues?

The smart meters located on Grand and Walnut Avenues are a trial to determine the usage of the new technology. Based on usage and feedback from residents, Public Works will consider additional locations.

Will the new technology assist people in finding parking?
The new meters are capable of transmitting parking availability to mobile apps. The City will determine whether or not to implement this technology based upon new meter usage and feedback from the community.

Which credit cards do smart meters accept?
The meters will accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and debit cards branded with a Visa, or MasterCard logo.

Is there a fee for using a credit card with the smart meters?
No, there is no fee to use a credit or debit card with the smart meters. However, there is a minimum parking session required to pay by credit card. Currently, the minimum charged amount for credit card and credit card branded debit cards is $1.00

Can I get a receipt for my credit card payment at a new parking meter?
Yes. Visit and enter the requested information. You can obtain a PDF receipt for the parking transaction(s) found for the credit card. You may also use the “Login” link to register your card; once that is done, every time you use your card, you’ll automatically receive a receipt by email.

Why do we call the meters “smart”? 
The new IPS Model M5 meters are smart for various reasons. They offer many options for convenient payment; they communicate wirelessly to South San Francisco with operational alerts and financial and occupancy data, and they are solar powered. A solar panel on each meter powers its rechargeable battery.

Overall, these meters are a key tool in managing a smart public parking program that supports development of South San Francisco’s downtown. 


Click here to share your thoughts on the new Downtown smart parking meters.

Questions or Comments?

Click here to send an email to our Public Works Department.