Leftover time on West Palm Beach parking meters will help homeless

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A new program in downtown West Palm Beach is helping the homeless, and it has to do with how much time you put on the meter.

The West Palm Beach City Commission gave unanimous approval to establish a program that transfers unused parking revenue to the city’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

The funds will be earmarked specifically for the city’s homeless prevention initiatives. The first donation by parking administration was $12,455.92.

The “pay-it-forward” style program involves an annual donation by the city's parking administration to HCD. The donation is the aggregate of all sensor-enabled meter time that goes unused by its purchasers. 

There are more than 200 sensor-enabled street meters, which can detect the arrival and departure of vehicles.

The meters are programed to clear any remaining time balance when the first car leaves and the next car parks and earmark that balance for donation.

The first donation of more than $12,000 is from the time the meters were first installed in 2016.

“The ‘Recaptured Meter Time Revenue’ program is innovative, thoughtful and collaborative,” said West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio “I am proud of the city employees at both the parking administration and the HCD Departments for their forward-thinking approach to support our homelessness initiatives, which remain a top priority.” 

"City residents and visitors can now be assured that any recaptured time will be put to good use and stay right here in our community," West Palm BEach Parking Administrator Ed Davis said.

As more meters are replaced, the city anticipates an annual increase in donations.

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