SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) _ The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has rolled out the first large-scale test of a pilot project to find out how pricing affects drivers’ parking choices.

Almost 200 high-tech parking meters have been installed in the Hayes Valley neighborhood just west of City Hall.

The goal of SFpark is to prevent cars from circling the block looking for parking and to reduce congestion and air pollution.

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Currently, it takes anywhere from $2 to $3.50 an hour to park at meters in the city.

With the new meters, SFMTA Executive Director Nathaniel Ford said hour rates will rise in some high demand areas.

“We expect to have a range that will go from 50 cents up to $6 depending on utilization,” said Ford. “So if we have an area that’s highly utilized and oversubscribed, that will be on the higher end in terms of what the hourly parking rate will be.”

Rates could go as high as $18 an hour for special events.

The prices will also vary by time, location and day of the week.

Fisherman’s Wharf employee Michelle said it will be a tough pill to swallow.

“I think that’s pretty outrageous to me,” she said.

Built-in sensors will allow motorists to search for parking at, your cell phone and eventually your smart phone.

The new meters will still take coins, but also debit and credit cards and soon, MTA parking cards. The pilot project will put meters in Hayes Valley, the Financial District, the Marina, Civic Center, SOMA, Fillmore and the Mission.


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