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CALIFORNIA: SFpark Parking Management Program in the City of San Francisco

As part of the Urban Partnership Agreement, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will be implementing a comprehensive smart parking system to help manage congestion. This system will be used to better manage a significant portion of the City’s parking supply, including: 13 City-controlled parking garages, one City controlled parking lot, and approximately 25% of the City’s on-street metered parking supply. The primary strategies used to achieve the congestion-management goals of this program will be demand-responsive pricing to manage parking towards availability targets, enhanced parking regulation enforcement, and new parking information systems. These strategies will be supported by new technologies including networked in-street parking sensors and parking meters that support various forms of payment, including coins, smart cards, as well as credit and debit cards.

Project Status

In Operation

April – June 2018 Update

This quarter marked the first-ever citywide application of demand-responsive pricing in San Francisco, with rate adjustments expanding from the SFpark pilot areas to cover all on-street parking meters and metered lots in the City. The citywide expansion of demand-responsive parking pricing includes all SFMTA-operated on-street parking meters and metered lots, including those under Port of San Francisco jurisdiction.

Rollout of the citywide rate change was implemented in phases, with the first phase starting on February 7, 2018 and the final phase going live on March 8, 2018. Overall, the average price for metered parking after the rate change is $2.49/hr, the same as before the rate change. Eighty-two percent of all metered hours remained at the current rate, with 9% of hours seeing rate increases and another 9% decreasing. Most increases were concentrated in the Midday period (13% of hours seeing rate increases as compared to 3% seeing a reduction).

The SFMTA is continuing discussions with third parties interested in partnering with SFpark to provide and deliver real-time parking availability data and meter rates to the public. Delivering this data on one or more third-party platforms (mobile, in-vehicle navigation, etc.) would provide information to far more people than an in-house app developed by and for the SFMTA.

The SFMTA updated its real-time meter-data application programming interface (API) to facilitate direct machine-to-machine communication of meter updates, including rate adjustments. This eliminates the often lengthy human-based reconciliation process between SFMTA’s meter database and the meter management system used by the City’s meter vendors and facilitate faster and smoother rate adjustments in the future.

The SFMTA is preparing to implement mobile contact less payment at all meters citywide, which would allow customers to pay for parking with their mobile phones. This technological advance will make it even easier for customer to pay for parking and avoid tickets.

The SFMTA completed its evaluation of over 200 meter-based parking sensors tested in 2017 and the final report is under development; the results of this evaluation will affect decisions about investments in parking availability technology in the future.

For More Information Contact

Hank Willson
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority

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