Beijing plans to install electronic parking meters across the city within the next three years, to replace the thousands of workers currently collecting fees for its roadside parking spaces.
The Beijing Transport Commission said Thursday meters will be installed for all roadside public parking spaces in Beijing's six urban districts as well as Tongzhou District by 2019.
This year, a total of 3,916 meters will be installed as a pilot project.
Currently, Beijing's transport authorities allow private firms to hire staff, mostly migrant workers, to collect parking fees. These workers can often be seen on bicycles chasing drivers who try to leave without paying the parking fee.
The commission said the meters will be equipped with either magnetic induction to record parking duration or video cameras to record duration and license plate numbers. The magnetic meters will still require workers to take photos of vehicle license plates.
The commission said the city's unified roadside parking monitoring system will be operational by the end of this year.
Beijing has an estimated 5.62 million cars and suffers severe traffic congestion and parking shortages.
The commission said that the city currently has 2 million fewer parking spaces than its number of vehicles.