Stephen Ellison

SF Transportation Board Approves Demand-Based Pricing on Parking Meters

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board on Tuesday night approved a new program that would use demand-based pricing at city parking meters.

The program, which was passed by a unanimous vote,  could raise rates at some parking meters to as much as $8 an hour.

The program, designed to ease the city's parking crunch, has been dubbed "demand responsive parking," meaning meter rates would vary depending on demand, where the meter is located and the time of day. More people using the meters drives the price up to a maximum of $8 per hour. Fewer people using the meters drives the price down to a minimum of 50 cents per hour.

A pilot program is already in place for about a quarter of the city's parking meters, and planners say the results show it's easier for drivers to find parking. That, in turn, has resulted in and sales tax revenues increasing in those areas, planners said.

Still, the idea isn't sitting well with everybody.

"We already get hit with parking tickets," driver Andres Burgueno said. "Everything in this city is so crazy ... just to drive around and find a place to park. It's going to affect a lot of people."

The SFMTA board heard from the public on the issue Tuesday.

One concern for the board is the $8-an-hour price. Planners stress those price increases initially would be small, 25 cents an hour at first and adjusted every three months. So it could take years to get to that the $8 maximum. And there would be plenty of advance notice.

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