Several start-ups, including ParkingCarma, Streetline Networks, Sensys and VehicleSense are using wireless technology to make parking easier.

There’s a thorough piece written about them by the Red Herring, and picked up by Parking Network.

[ParkingCarma of Emeryville, Calif. recently] ran a 14-month test at a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) parking lot in Oakland, California. By posting availability information on large signs next to nearby highways, and letting commuters reserve paid parking spots from their cell phones or over the Internet before they left home, parking spots were filled 75 percent of the time. Before the test, the same parking spaces were in use only 10 percent of the time. BART hopes to expand the program, but so far has not announced plans to implement it on a wide scale.

…Cities stand to benefit in other ways. Across the bay from Oakland, wireless sensors at 250 parking places near Fishermans Wharf tell the city of San Francisco how often, and at what time of day, those spaces are occupied. The sensors, from a San Francisco-based startup called Streetline Networks, will help the city figure out if it needs to adjust its pricing, and where it should deploy meter maids. Thats potentially valuable information: right now, only 5.4 percent of parking violations in San Francisco receive tickets.

Streetline is using mesh network sensor technology.

Another company, Berkeley, Calif.’s Sensys Networks, is also mentioned in the story, and received an undisclosed amount of venture funding from Com Ventures and Siemens TBB.

ParkingCarma plans to raise $5 million in a first round in the next six months, according to the article. Streetline, which has raised $250,000 so far from individual investors, including Internet and computing pioneer Gordon Bell, is also planning a Series A round, the piece said.

Finally, Cambridge, Massachusetts VehicleSense, has raised $750,000 from angel investors and VC firm IncTank.