Parking in Downtown SLO? Expect some changes

May 3, 2021

If you’ve parked your car in Downtown San Luis Obispo over the last week, you may have noticed new multi-space pay stations are now installed in the downtown core of the city.

Gaven Hussey, the parking services program manager for the City of San Luis Obispo said the new pay stations are replacing the old single-space meters that will soon be obsolete because they will lose cell signal as networks transition away from 3G service.

Patrons must enter their license plate numbers and the amount of time they want to stay parked within the limits listed on each pay station.

Visitors to downtown will find about 50 new stations installed West of Santa Rosa and East of Nipomo between Palm and Pacific Streets.

Hussey said the new pay stations allow for different payment options. Once someone has parked their car, they can use coins or a credit card at a pay station.

“There’s a lot more versatility with them,” Hussey said. “It allows us to have other options, including the tap option, which is currently available on it. And then it also allows us to transition to our mobile apps too.”

The ‘tap option’ is a newer technology on credit cards that allows someone to tap their card on the machine without inserting it.

Hussey said he expects a parking app to be available by the end of June. It will allow people to bypass the pay station and pay using only their cell phone.

An approved rate increase, which was deferred one year due to the pandemic, is scheduled to go into effect July 1.

The hourly rate will increase from $1.25 to $1.50.

If drivers find a spot in any one of the three garages in Downtown San Luis Obispo, they can continue to park for free for the first hour.

Meters are enforced Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Hussey said ADA parking accessibility downtown will not change. Anyone with a current disabled placard or license plate will be able to park for free at any paid space.