Now You Can Feed the Meter From Your Phone

By Matt Baume
|  Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011  |  Updated 3:18 PM PDT
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Now You Can Feed the Meter From Your Phone

NBCWashington.com

Parking may get easier if you own a smartphone but more difficult to actually find.

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Motorists who want to linger a bit longer at a store have a new friend in SF Park, a cutting-edge system that will soon allow drivers to re-fill the meter from their phone.

There's a down side, of course. With drivers staying longer in their spot, fewer spots will open up. That means it may be harder than ever to find open parking spaces.

But the City is also hoping that SF Park will relieve that burden as well. Sensors in the ground will detect open spaces, and will direct drivers to blocks with available parking. You can also search for parking spaces on your phone, and the app will display a large warning if it detects that you're using it while driving.

Drivers will also have to pay a little extra for the perk. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that it will cost 45 cents for the convenience of extending their time. The City doesn't get to keep that cash. Instead, it goes to a vendor.

The exact per-minute price will be adjusted on a block-by-block basis. Blocks with no open spaces will see the prices gradually go up, ensuring that there is always at least one open spot.

And of course, if you're looking to dodge fees altogether, you can park your bike all day for free.

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