SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The SFMTA has voted to implement demand-based pricing for all parking meters in San Francisco.
Ask drivers about parking in San Francisco and they’re not shy to tell you how it is.
San Francisco resident Tom Taylor described it as “miserable.”
Martha Asten, also a San Francisco resident, said, “It’s difficult to find parking because the city has systematically removed most parking.”
Muni parking policy experts believe they have a solution to the problem. It’s called demand-responsive pricing.
Muni launched a pilot program to test this out in busy areas back in 2011.
Here’s how it works: Prices for city meters and garage spaces will be adjusted based on demand.
Right now Muni can only change the pricing by 25 cents at a time every three months. So busy blocks can expect prices to go up.
But Muni officials are careful not to call this surge pricing.
SFMTA parking policy manager Hank Willson said, “Surge pricing only goes up. Demand-responsive pricing is just as likely to go down as it is to go up.”
Willson says the pilot study showed more often prices did drop.
Willson said, “Average rates went down by 11 cents an hour on the street and in our garages by 42 cents an hour, so what that showed is this isn’t about raising rates it’s about finding the right price.”
People in the Castro District, where the program has yet to be implemented, are split on whether it’ll hurt or help.
San Francisco resident Todd Ahlberg said, “I think for our customers it’ll be very frustrating.”
But San Francisco resident Chris Grant thinks it might make a difference.
Most residents do agree on one thing though: cars are not the future.
San Francisco resident Tom Taylor said, “I think most people have to realize the car days are almost over. We have to start using the Muni.”