Findings Released On Local Parking Meter Pilot Program

Photo: Jared Schwartz/Hoodline
By Jared Schwartz - Published on June 25, 2014.
If you've tried parking on Hayes Street and paying at the meter, you may have paid differently from a person doing the same thing one block away. 

For the past few years, SFMTA has been experimenting with a federally-funded program called SFPark. As SFGate explains it, the program's goal was to manage parking better throughout San Francisco by adjusting the cost of parking meters based on availability. 

If this sounds like surge pricing, it's because it's using a similar model. Since the pilot program began in 2011, SFMTA altered the cost of parking meters in seven neighborhoods (including Hayes Valley/Civic Center) at times when parking would be in demand. On Friday evenings, for example, costs would go up. On Tuesdays at 2pm, prices would go down. 

An added bonus of the SFPark program is the ability to use credit cards or apps to pay for your parking meter.  Each meter can be tracked to see when people are using it and the duration of time for which they're paying. 

The pilot concluded at the end of 2013, and SFMTA recently released their project evaluation. As SFGate points out, here are some of the major findings from the period of time the pilot program ran:

  • Average time spent hunting for parking decreased by five minutes, or 43%
  • Citations for parking meter violations declined by 23%
  • Average meter rates dropped 11 cents an hour, or 4%, to $2.58
  • The goal of having 60-80% of parking spaces occupied occurred 31% more often
  • Blocks were full (no parking spaces available) 16% less often
Have you noticed these changes? Do you feel like time spent finding a parking space has decreased? We want to hear your thoughts about parking in the neighborhood and whether you've noticed any impacts of this program. 
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