NORTH HOLLYWOOD (CNS) -9 The free ride will soon be over when it comes to parking at Metro’s Red Line North Hollywood and Universal City stations.

Come April 24, transit-goers will have to pay $3 a day to park at those two stops, according to Metro officials.

Although the change will provide Metro with a new revenue stream, transit officials say it’s necessary because too many non-Metro riders are parking there for free. It’s hoped that the new fee will free up parking spots for Red Line riders at these two busy stations.

The parking lots at these stops have been operating free of charge since they opened in 2000. But it’s become increasingly difficult for riders to find parking at either station during weekdays unless they arrive very early in the morning or late at night, according to Metro officials.

Automated parking systems will be used at both stations. And there will be Metro employees on hand in the lots during the first few weeks to help people use the machines.

Transit riders will also be able to use a smartphone app that Metro will be rolling out later this month to pay for the parking, according to officials.

Riders will need to know their license plate number to use the machines or the app, because cameras will be taking pictures of each car as it enters the lot, and the system will be using those license numbers to make sure people pay, according to officials.

Failure to pay the $3 parking fee will result in a $53 citation for illegal parking, according to officials.