Real time services for cell phones and blackberries have been cropping up left and right. As of last Tuesday, a new service is currently being implemented in Santa Monica, California to help drivers find available parking in the parking spot deficient central shopping district.
According to the AP article, “[The system] updates a new, city-run Web site every five seconds, displaying the numbers of available spaces in downtown structures and at beach lots.” In addition, signs listing available parking will be continuously updated in front of parking areas and garages. The plan is to make the information available through blackberries in the near future.
You can find Santa Monica parking here. I tried it with Opera Mini and it showed which lots had parking available but not how many spaces were available at each lot (which are shown on the full website). This is really the only logical way to use this kind of application. It’s too bad it isn’t fully functional on the phone. If you plan on using Opera for this site frequently, I would have to suggest saving it as a bookmark. It’s a pretty long URL.
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I’m really hoping this trend will catch on in other parking-thirsty locations throughout the US.