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Release date: 7/11/11

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that the first demand-responsive rate adjustment of hourly parking rates at all on-street automobile SFpark meters will begin in late July. The rate changes are based on parking demand data collected from wireless parking sensors embedded in the street as part of SFpark. The goal of the rate adjustments is to find the lowest possible hourly rate to achieve the right level of parking availability. The first adjustment will see two-thirds of SFpark rates decrease or remain the same and one-third of the rates will increase by 25¢ per hour.

“The SFMTA’s innovative project seeks to combat parking and traffic congestion problems,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “With SFpark, San Francisco is pursuing a comprehensive parking-based approach to congestion management and greenhouse gas emission reduction that will also support local merchants and keep San Francisco moving.”

“Demand-responsive pricing will help improve parking availability especially in areas where parking is currently hard to find,” said Debra A. Johnson, SFMTA Acting Executive Director/CEO. “SFpark is testing how small changes in parking prices can result in reduced circling and double-parking, clearing the roads to reduce congestion and make Muni more reliable.”

The SFMTA will make data-driven rate adjustments at SFpark meters of no more than 50¢ down or 25¢ up, and no more often than once a month. Based on the current occupancy data:

  • More than two-thirds of the new rates at SFpark meters will be the same or lower than the old rates.
  • The new lowered rates will be adjusted down by 25¢ or 50¢ to as low as $1.75/hour in some places.
  • The remaining one-third of the rates will rise by 25¢ to $2.25, $3.25 or $3.75/hour depending on the current rate.

Based on parking demand, SFpark meter rates may vary by time of day, weekday versus Saturday, and block by block. The daily time periods are 1) start to noon, 2) noon to 3 p.m. and 3) 3 p.m. to end. SFpark meters will display the current hourly rate and rate information for the full day. When a customer adds funds, the meter automatically adds the appropriate amount of time. The current rate information will also be posted along with real-time parking availability at and via the free SFpark iPhone app.

Other elements of SFpark already in place or currently being implemented include:

  • New single- and multi-space meters that accept credit cards as well as coins and SFMTA parking cards
  • Longer parking time limits of four hours or no limit in some areas
  • Facility upgrades at City-owned garages
  • Pay-by-Phone convenience at SFpark and regular City and Port meters

The SFpark pilot covers 7,000 of San Francisco’s 28,800 metered spaces and 12,250 spaces in 15 of 20 SFMTA-managed parking garages. These garages and spaces are located in the following neighborhoods: Civic Center, Hayes Valley, the Financial District, SoMa, the Mission, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Fillmore and the Marina. The SFpark pilot is 80 percent funded by the United States Department of Transportation’s Urban Partnership Program and will run until summer 2012.

To read more about SFpark's demand-responsive pricing strategy, see the complete rate adjustment table and maps of the eight SFpark pilot areas and their rates, please visit

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