We were taking an afternoon stroll down Xiangyang Lu today in our pajamas when we had our first ever encounter with Shanghai’s high-tech parking meters. The meters aren’t exactly new; according to the Shanghai Municipality website the first were installed in 2005. There were 141 meters at the beginning of the year installed across 22 road sections, but that number is now up to 555.
Yes, we don’t get out much, but we were still surprised to see three of them randomly sprouting up from the concrete on this fairly subdued block (between Changle Lu and Julu Lu). Thankfully, right next to the contraptions was a uniformed parking attendant. Figuring we’re not the only ones who are generally clueless about them, we had a nice exchange with him and here’s the lowdown on the meters:
- The contraptions have been installed only in the past couple of months or so
- Meters operate from 7am to 10pm (not sure if this is weekday only)
- Hourly rate is 15 RMB. If parkers go over time they can return to the meter and pay the remaining balance
- Transportation cards can be used to pay on the meter directly, or cash can be given to the omnipresent parking attendant. The meter will spit out a receipt.
- There are a lot more meters up around the Xujiahui area.
From personal experience back in the States, we know that meters in most parts of San Francisco are about $1 USD per hour, so 15 RMB initially struck us as fairly steep. However, given the premium on parking in this increasingly auto-infested city of ours, it may actually end up being priced about right. Thankfully, we still ride on the back of grandpa’s bike, so our wallets shouldn’t take too much of a hit anytime soon.