SFMTA to pilot app for Parking Control Officers
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will test a mobile application for its Parking Control Officers (PCOs) starting November 21, 2012. This data collection tool, called reEnforce, utilizes real-time parking sensor and meter data to show PCOs where vehicles are parked at unpaid meters or in commercial spaces. When a PCO arrives at a space, he or she will log if the space is legally occupied due to a disabled placard, city permit, broken meter, or other reason. The app does not issue citations, and PCOs still have to visit vehicles to verify illegal parking and write tickets.
The app will help the SFMTA work more efficiently, reducing time and money lost when PCOs monitor areas with empty spaces, paid meters, and vehicles they have already visited, freeing time to focus on enforcing other issues, such as driveway parking or directing traffic.
Five PCOs will participate in the six-month trial, covering 1,700 parking spaces in the Fisherman’s Wharf, Marina, Fillmore, and Hayes Valley/Civic Center neighborhoods. The application was written by OpenGeo, a non-profit organization delivering open source geospatial software solutions. When the software is fully refined, the SFMTA will publicly post the code so other cities can save on software development expenses.
Over the last two years, the SFMTA has made it easier for the public to avoid parking tickets at metered spaces by expanding payment options and reducing and eliminating time limits. Drivers can pay for any SFMTA meter using their cell phone and a credit card, and those paying by cell phone get a text message warning before their meter expires. Over 7,000 parking meters in the City also accept credit cards. Additionally, several neighborhoods have had time limits eliminated or extended to four hours from two hours.
For information about avoiding tickets in San Francisco, click here.