For almost a decade, Trellint has partnered with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) to reduce traffic congestion and improve driver satisfaction using pricing as a mechanism to manage parking demand, reduce congestion, shorten travel times, reduce pollution, and encourage the use of alternative forms of transportation. 


In downtown LA, frustrated motorists were continuously circling city blocks to find elusive parking spots close to their destinations. Despite using signal synchronization and online tools to get drivers to their destination quicker, it was difficult to change driver behavior because parking prices did not match demand. Prices were often the same across several blocks offering no incentive to motivate drivers to park further away to decrease time spent searching for parking. As a result, motorists endured increased congestion and unnecessary traffic jams. 


To overcome these challenges, the LA Express Park program was implemented in May 2012, fusing technology and demand-based pricing into an innovative parking management strategy. The program was funded by a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $3.5 million in city funds, focused on 4.5 square miles in downtown Los Angeles. 

Program goals included: 

  • Increased availability of on-street parking 
  • Reduction in traffic congestion and pollution  
  • Incentive for motorists to refine travel plans 

Through this innovative program, city officials hoped to change driver behavior and better manage parking demand by providing a parking availability of 10-30% at parking spaces on each block throughout the day. The program relied heavily on hardware, including parking meters, guidance systems, in-ground sensors, and a highly integrated back-end system that utilizes strong data analytics as well as an advanced pricing engine. Together, the system was robust enough to continually compile occupancy and payment data, and provide key real-time insights for drivers looking for available spaces. This information also helped enforcement officers identify unpaid parking violators. In the decade since Trellint was selected by LADOT, we have developed a close partnership to help Angelenos save time and park smarter. 

Changing Behaviour with Demand-Based Pricing

With demand-based pricing, LADOT can now match the availability of parking spaces to motorist demand, enabling drivers to make more informed travel decisions. Using Trellint’s parking management system at the heart of the program, LADOT has leveraged our proprietary pricing engine interface that funnels data to and from various systems to provide a single cohesive view of occupancy, payments, and violation information. Unlike other alternatives, Trellint’s software provides a single dashboard with visual analytics that provide occupancy and pricing information in real-time, identifying occupancy patterns to better recommend parking rate changes. Since the program was implemented, incremental improvements made to the Merge platform have modernized the program, including:  

  • Lean demand management  
  • Development of the Merge mobile app  
  • Enhanced meter maintenance management  
  • Enhanced analytics dashboard  
  • Map visualization improvements 


The LA Express Park program has achieved substantial results, which demonstrate the power of demand-based pricing in Los Angeles. Results include: 

  • 10% increase in parking availability 
  • Lower parking prices across the city 
  • Less costly permit fulfillment 
  • 16% increase in meter revenue in some areas 
  • 10% reduction in congested city parking 
  • Increases parking turnover due to less time in a parking spot (59 minutes or less) 
  • Less than 8% of parking area underutilized with less than 70% occupancy 
Program Expansion

After achieving successful results downtown, LA Express Park expanded the program to additional high-parking demand areas around Los Angeles. Since 2015, three additional communities of the city have been added to the program including Westwood, Hollywood, and Venice. Each had unique parking demand patterns and unique, regionalized challenges in establishing a new parking program. 


Westwood is adjacent to UCLA, with almost 45,000 students and 40,000 staff members, and is impacted by parking congestion on blocks closest to campus. Per municipal ordinance, maximum parking rates were previously set at $2/hour. Most meters were maxed out at that rate. Working with the city, Trellint installed in-ground sensors, smart, state-of-the-art parking meters that provide a variety of payment options, and a central parking management system that collects data from the sensors and smart meters. This information is made available to drivers in real-time through a smart phone app. Changeable message signs were also strategically placed around Westwood to offer motorists real-time information about parking availability and pricing. 


Hollywood, a popular and world-renowned tourist attraction, has historically exhibited parking congestion challenges that confronted visitors parking near the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is identified as a historical property and created challenges in getting a new parking program approved. To properly assess the situation, Trellint conducted a historical property impact analysis to protect the integrity of the location and minimize any impact on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 


Popular beach areas around Venice caused parking congestion in surrounding neighborhoods. Different base rates had been set for the high-demand summer season and low-demand winter season, but there were no further refinements to pricing. Since Venice falls under the purview of the California Coastal Commission, changes to meter rates are limited so they do not reduce public access to the beach. However, Trellint worked closely with the local leaders and used our pricing engine to determine pricing recommendations that would work within current jurisdictional constraints. 

While each section of the city presented different occupancy patterns, Trellint helped identify how to vary its pricing engine so that each program could produce results in line with each respective area’s occupancy patterns and requirements.