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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why did you change the parking program?

A: As you may have noticed, downtown Redwood City has changed quite a bit over the past few years. We knew that adding a new cinema, new restaurants, new shops, a new public plaza, and dozens of special events would bring a lot more people downtown, all of them competing for parking spaces. The demand-based parking program was implemented to reduce cruising and traffic congestion. Click here to view the comprehensive parking plan.

Q: What are some of the special features of the pay-by-space digital meters?

A: The pay-by-space meters offer several payment options including paying with credit cards, via PayByPhone, or with bills and coins (bills are accepted only at green-colored meters). When you park in a numbered stall you can pay or add time at any pay-by-space meter regardless of where you parked (be sure to keep the parking receipt for reference - it shows your parking stall number). Click here for tips on how to use the meters.

Q: What are the meter prices?

A: The meter rates vary by day, time, and location. Click here for a map showing metered parking prices and schedule.

Q: Why do different parking areas have different hourly rates?

A: When the most desirable spaces are priced the same as areas a bit further away, they get crowded and don't "turn over". This means that motorists circle the same block over and over waiting for a spot to open, congesting our streets and air. However when the high-demand parking areas are priced a bit higher than those a block or two away, the long-term parkers often choose the lower-priced spaces, opening up short-term parking in the downtown core and reducing vehicle "cruising", making downtown nicer for everyone.

Q: Do I have to pay for an hour if I'm just making a quick visit?

A: The downtown parking meters accept all coins except pennies, so if you only need a few minutes, simply pop in a nickel or a dime. You can also use credit cards or PayByPhone for the pay-by-space meters.

Q: Should I pay at the the pay-by-space meter closest to my car?

A: You may pay at any pay-by-space meter when you park in a numbered parking space, so if there is a line at one machine simply go to the next one on the way to your destination. You can also PayByPhone.

Q: Should I put my pay-by-space meter receipt on my dash?

A: No - the meter receipt is for your convenience. It shows the expiration time, so you no longer need to wonder how much time you have left. It also shows your parking stall number, which makes it easy to add time at any of the pay-by-space meters or via PayByPhone.

Q: Do the meters give change?

A: No, the parking meters do not give change, including the pay-by-space meters.

Q: Where can I find free parking?

A: Click here for a guide showing free parking.

Back to downtown parking home page


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