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Street Sweeping Alerts Now Available in Los Angeles & San Diego

Many of us are all too familiar with the sinking feeling you get when you find that dreaded ticket on your dash because you parked in a street sweeping zone. Here at Metromile, we’re on a mission to make car ownership as easy as possible, which is why we are excited to announce that our street sweeping alerts are now available in San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area!

street sweeping alerts

We’ve already issued more than 28,000 alerts in San Francisco and Chicago and saved customers an average of $1.8 million in parking tickets. Now, customers in San Diego and the greater Los Angeles area can avoid those pricey tickets as well. In the past year, there have been nearly 650,000 street sweeping citations issued in the city of Los Angeles, 70,000 in Santa Monica, and 25,000 in West Hollywood. At $63-$73 per ticket, that means that residents in the greater Los Angeles area have spent more than $53 million in street sweeping ticket fines. We’re here to do something about that- your money can definitely be put to better use! Trying out that new restaurant or going to a concert with your friends is much better than paying for a pesky parking ticket.

Metromile customers in select cities can take advantage of the alerts. We use city data and internal information to determine if your car is parked in a street-sweeping zone, and, if so, you will receive a push notification 12 hours before the scheduled street cleaning. If you miss the first alert, there will be a second alert with one hour to spare.

LA and SD are the first of many stops on our roadmap as we expand coverage for our sweeping alerts and other smart services. Learn more about our free smart driving app, and if you are also interested in saving money with per-mile insurance you can get started here. Here’s to the last of those street sweeping tickets!

How to Park: West Coast Edition


Parking in the city is not an easy feat. Whether you are rushing to a dinner reservation or visiting a friend for the weekend, finding a parking spot is nothing short of a headache. While we can’t help you snag a secret spot or dispute your parking ticket, we can give you tips on what to expect when you’re in these west coast cities.


city parking


San Francisco
There is a lot crammed into this 7×7 mile city, which means parking can be quite challenging. If you do find a coveted spot, the good news is that most meters take credit cards so you don’t have to search in the depths of your bag for stray quarters. Certain neighborhoods are even experimenting with on-demand pricing, which means rates may vary by block, time of day and day of the week, and can be adjusted +/- 50 cents per hour. The other good news is that Metromile’s street sweeping alerts are available in SF, which alerts you if your car is parked in a street sweeping area so you can move it in time. When you park, don’t forget to curb your wheels on any street that has a 3% grade or higher (which is pretty much the entire city). This is something visitors often don’t realize and is easy to ticket for.

Los Angeles
If you are in LA, it might be even harder to find a spot since the majority of the city’s population owns a car. Downtown LA also has on-demand pricing and you can see how much you can expect to pay on the LA Express Park website. If you can’t find a spot and are in a time crunch, there are plenty of lots and valet options throughout the metropolitan area, although it could cost you close to $40 for the day. Luckily, most business will validate parking bringing the costs down significantly. And if you do find a spot on the street, make sure you know what the color of the curb means to avoid getting a ticket!

If you do find on-street parking in Portland keep in mind there are two types of parking meters – the SmartMeter pay station and the coin-operated meter – so don’t get rid of that quarter stash just yet. The city also owns six downtown SmartPark garages which are the most affordable parking lot options. Pro tip: some businesses will even validate two hours of free SmartPark parking with qualifying purchases. If you aren’t near a SmartPark garage, private lots could cost you around $22 for the day.

You’re in luck: Seattle is probably the easiest of these cities to find parking in. There is a fair amount of on-street parking, and both coins and credit cards are accepted at all meters. You can even pay by phone to eliminate the need to attach a receipt to your car.

There are also plenty of new innovations popping up to help alleviate city parking, such as Zirx and Luxe which provide on-demand valet service. Of course, you could always take Uber or public transportation and forget about parking entirely. And don’t forget to download the Metromile driving app to use our car locator if you forget where you parked!

Automated Street Sweeping Alerts – Now in Chicago!

About a month ago, automated street sweeping alerts went live in San Francisco, and they were such a hit that today we’re now rolling them out in Chicago, too!

Why Chicago? Well, in 2013 alone, the city gave out a whopping 250,000 tickets during street cleaning season – that’s equal to $15 million in fines! We thought we could help make a big difference in Chicago area drivers’ experience of having a car – especially on this issue – so we decided to take action.

From today onwards, when you park in a zone where street sweeping will be taking place within 12 hours, we’ll send you an alert via email and push notification, as well as a reminder to move your car one hour before the sweeping begins. This frees you up from trying to decipher all those complicated signs – now you can get out of your car and go.

And just to further prove that we’ve got your back, on Wednesday, April 23rd, we’re offering to pay off street sweeping ticket that MetroMile customers have received since street sweeping started in Chicago on April 1, 2014!

All you have to do is bring us your ticket, show us the app installed on your phone, and we’ll give you cash – on the spot – to pay it off. Seriously!

We’ll be just outside The Tribune Tower at 435 N Michigan Ave. from noon to 3 pm CST to hook you up. Note that this promotion is limited to the first 100 MetroMile users who bring us their original tickets that have been issued in 2014, one per customer.

While we expect our new street sweeping feature to be super useful, we ask for your patience as we work out any kinks that come up. We may also ping you to fill out a quick survey to help us improve the experience, and thank you in advance for any and all input.

If you’re new to MetroMile but want to jump on board to start getting automated street sweeping alerts to your phone, here’s how: 

1. Sign up for our Beta here. We’ll send you a free Metronome (a little plug-into-your-dash-and-go device that works with the MetroMile app).

2. Plug the Metronome into your car (1996 or newer).

3. Download the MetroMile app from the App Store and sign in.

It’s as simple as that. Once you’ve followed the above three steps you’ll get you the alerts, driving stats, car diagnostics, and a whole lot more. Happy to have you on board!

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