KCBS_740 SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco’s transit agency is looking to fill a multi-million dollar budget gap, and number crunchers at the Municipal Transportation Authority are studying how much they could take in from parking meter enforcement – at night.

The move follows this week’s decision to lower fees for towed vehicles in San Francisco, leaving the SFMTA budget with an estimated shortfall of about $3.5 million.

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To help make up the deficit, the agency is considering expanding the locations where parking meters would run after 6:00 p.m.

Meters along King Street near AT&T Park already run until 10 p.m. in some stretches, and the city is considering extending hours for metered parking around that neighborhood as well.

“I would hate that. It’s already so expensive to park during the day as it is,” one driver said.

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In Chinatown however, some residents believed the nighttime parking enforcement would encourage turnaround for spaces in front of restaurants.

“I think this is a big problem for Chinatown, and there’s not enough space for people parking here,” a Chinatown restaurant patron said.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin is opposed to the idea, “Because at a certain point, the rat race has gotta stop. The whole notion of parking meters is to allow turnover of parking spots on the street. At nighttime, people settle down, and you don’t need that turnover.”

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The SFMTA budget is scheduled to receive final approval in April.