Skip to Main Content | Font Size | Web Accessibility | Video Transcript

SFMTA completes innovative citywide census of San Francisco parking

Contact: Paul Rose
415.601.1637, cell

SFMTA Completes Innovative Citywide Census of San Francisco Parking

Comprehensive audit of publicly-available parking supply makes San Francisco
the first U.S. city to complete a citywide parking census.

SAN FRANCISCO (April 1, 2010) — The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni) and all surface transportation in San Francisco, has released a comprehensive citywide public parking census (5.2MB jpg) conducted by SFpark, the Agency’s new parking management program that will launch its initial two-year pilot this summer. This census is the first of its kind in the country.  The data is available as part of San Francisco’s open data initiative at or

For the first time, San Francisco will have detailed information about the City’s entire public parking supply readily available to support City projects. This information will enable the SFMTA and other City departments to rapidly assess parking supply issues when planning and implementing projects.

The Citywide Parking Census is the first major project of SFMTA’s SFpark initiative.  SFMTA established SFpark to develop innovative solutions to parking challenges in the City. SFpark will support the City’s Open Data efforts by sharing the entire census dataset with the public. This data can serve as a foundation for new user-created civic Web applications and interactive tools.

“SFpark is an excellent opportunity for San Francisco to take control of parking management and thereby reduce congestion and pollution,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., Executive Director/CEO of the SFMTA. “The parking census provides a wealth of data that puts us on the right path to realizing the full potential of this project.”

To gather and compile this data, SFpark staff surveyed and mapped the City’s parking supply, including metered and unmetered on-street parking, and off-street parking in garages and lots. This effort involved on-the-ground surveys and site visits, translating SFMTA documents into GIS, reviewing Assessor data and more.  SFpark will continue to work on the parking census to refine and enhance the data and improve methods used to keep the data up to date. A summary of the data is below.

Parking Type Description Spaces
On-street Metered Includes parking managed by SFMTA, the Port of San Francisco and the Presidio Trust 24,464
Unmetered Estimate based on a random sample of no less than 20 percent of City blocks (32 percent of all City blocks were surveyed) 256,900
Off-street Paid Parking lots and garages that are open to the public and priced (e.g., with hourly, daily, monthly rates) 103,756
Free Parking in City parks that is unpriced and does not have daytime restrictions 6,896
Customer Parking available to customers only (e.g., Safeway) 28,922
Permit Parking requiring some form of permission (e.g., paid monthly permit and/or employee-only parking lots) 19,308
Total    440,246

SFpark is a federally-funded pilot project that combines new parking management technology and approaches to make parking easier to find, thereby reducing circling and double-parking. Providing adequate bicycle parking in commercial areas furthers an overall strategy to manage demand for on-street parking in SFpark pilot areas and to ensure that as many people as possible can access San Francisco’s commercial areas to help promote their vitality and economic competitiveness.


Established by voter proposition in 1999, the SFMTA, a department of the City and County of San Francisco, oversees the Municipal Railway (Muni), parking and traffic and taxis. With five modes of transit, Muni has approximately 700,000 passenger boardings each day. Over 35,000 extra vehicles enter San Francisco on any given business day, and rely on the SFMTA to keep the flow of cars, transit vehicles, taxis, delivery trucks, pedestrians and bicycles moving smoothly through the streets.