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Pay-By-Phone Coming To All SF Parking Meters Soon

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(AP)

(AP)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — As the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency prepares to launch a key phase of its new parking program this week, agency officials announced Monday that drivers will soon be able to pay by phone at all city meters.

The SFpark pilot program, unveiled last year, will start Thursday distributing real-time information collected by smart meters and sensors about where parking is available so that drivers quickly find open spaces.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

SFMTA officials say the two-year program, being tested in select neighborhoods, will help reduce the carbon footprint of the city’s drivers, who often have to circle around looking for spots, which wastes gas and increases pollution.

Muni officials announced Monday that later this year, drivers will be able to pay by phone at all city meters—not just those in the areas of the SFpark pilot program.

“We look forward to providing additional convenience for our parking customers,” SFMTA board chairman Tom Nolan said in a statement. “Anything we can do to make it easier for folks to pay at the meter furthers our goal of helping our customers get to their destinations quickly and easily.”

Agency spokesman Paul Rose said the SFMTA hopes to have the pay-by-phone option up and running sometime this summer.

The service will require drivers to establish, either online or by phone, an account linked to a credit card. They can then make payments by entering the parking location number found on each meter from any phone or via the Internet.

Customers will receive a text message reminder before a meter expires.

The service will include a fee of up to 45 cents per transaction that will go to the contractor that is offering the service, Verrus Mobile Technologies Inc.

“The SFMTA is committed to improving parking throughout the city and this is one more tool to improve the driving and parking experience in San Francisco,” Nathaniel Ford, the agency’s executive director, said in a statement.

“Along with the SFpark initiatives, this technology will help improve the customer experience by making it more convenient to pay for parking at locations throughout San Francisco,” Ford said.

For more information on the SFpark project launching Thursday, visit www.sfpark.org.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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