SFpark is based on the principle that if parking prices are set just right, at least one parking space will be available on every metered block most of the time. To figure out which prices create this ideal amount of availability, SFpark needs data on how many spaces are available at any given time.
Wireless parking sensors in SFpark pilot areas report whether or not a space is occupied. This real-time data is available to drivers and is processed monthly to determine where and when prices should be raised or lowered in order to achieve the ideal amount of parking availability. SFpark then transmits the adjusted price information to SFpark meters, so they always display the appropriate price.
Demand-responsive pricing redistributes demand for the City’s parking spaces. Moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to parking prices means that some people may choose to drive at different times, park at a garage rather than at a meter, park a few blocks away from their destination, or to choose another mode of transit such as biking or Muni. All of these options help to reduce parking demand at peak times and places and make parking more available.
Easily accessed real-time information on parking availability and rates helps to match drivers up with parking spaces more quickly and enables people to make more informed choices about when and where to drive.
The goal of SFpark is to try to have at least one on-street space available on every block most of the time, and for City-owned garages and lots to always have open spaces. It is not possible to guarantee this level of availability, but the aim is to achieve this standard most of the time.
With extended time limits and additional payment options, the SFMTA has seen fewer parking tickets issued in SFpark pilot areas . Sensor and meter data may be used to adjust parking enforcement officer scheduling and routing, but citations will not be issued based on sensor data.