Meter Madness: SFMTA Announces Parking Price Changes

SFMTA Meters GraphicStarting tomorrow, August 28th, the City agency in charge of setting fees at all SF street parking meters, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), has announced a rate changing pilot program in large swathes of multiple neighborhoods.

Good News: the Castro has been spared this round of rate hikes.  Bad News: we might not be so lucky next time. Real(ity) News: you need a City Planning degree to understand the new rate plan and keep track of where it's in effect.

The neighborhoods who'll feel the pinch in the pocketbook during this first round of SFMTA's fee hike/decrease street meter experiment are City Hall/Civic Center, The Marina, Fisherman's Wharf, the Mission/Valencia corridor and the Mission Bay/ATT Park.

These neighborhoods/geographic areas historically draw large amounts of tourists to them and it's been deduced parking meter turn over occurs at higher rates due a variety of reasons like quick trips for shopping or hit and run sightseeing jaunts.

Price changes were described via an SFMtA email as follows:


  • Rates will decrease by .25¢ or .50¢ per hour at 18% of metered hours.

  • Rates will stay the same at 62% of metered hours.

  • Rates will increase by .25¢ at 20% of metered hours.


A sample snap of the SFMTA pdf map and legend created by the City  to help one understand the new meter increase, decrease, stay the same project.
A sample snap of the SFMTA pdf map and legend created by the City to help one understand the new meter increase, decrease, stay the same project.

Also included was a handy color coded PDF with maps and charts to help one determine the cost increase and, in some spots, savings the average car driver will face trying to negotiate public meters in the effected areas.

Bottom line: even with the legends things will remain expensive. The cost of a meter in some areas going up to as high as $5.75 per hour.  Also it's reasonable to assume with these new increases comes a heightened meter maid presence If you would like even more detailed info on how this all rate changes will work a downloadable spread sheet has also been offered up.

As with all SFMTA plans, if success is noted, a ripple of change generally follows and many tourist heavy neighborhoods like the Castro could perhaps be next to see a pilot program introduced as well. We'll keep you informed, but, until then keep your hungry meter fed or better yet bike the City or use MUNI. Save cash, get exercise in one instance and leave a smaller carbon footprint on the planet in both.

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