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

The Basics

Does this change parking in my neighborhood?

SFpark areas are in eight neighborhoods:

  • Civic Center
  • Hayes Valley
  • The Financial District
  • SoMa/Mission Bay
  • Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Mission
  • Fillmore
  • Marina

SFpark is currently evaluating the results from these pilot areas to develop a proposal for smarter parking management across San Francisco.

What are the major elements of SFpark?

  • Demand-responsive pricing to create parking availability
  • Longer time limits at parking meters to make parking more convenient
  • Meters that make it easy to pay by accepting credit cards and other forms of payment
  • Garage facility upgrades to make garages more convenient

What are the benefits of SFpark?

  • Convenient parking. Drivers can find and pay for parking more easily.
  • Fewer parking tickets. Longer time limits and meters that make it easy to pay will help drivers avoid parking tickets.
  • Improved economic vitality. Improving access to commercial areas will foster economic activity in San Francisco’s downtown and neighborhood commercial districts.
  • Faster and more reliable Muni service. Muni can be faster and more reliable when double-parking and congestion are reduced.
  • Safer streets. Less circling means less traffic and fewer distracted drivers, leading to fewer car, bicycle and pedestrian collisions.
  • Better air quality and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Less circling means less traffic, driving and pollution.

How many meters and garages are covered by SFpark?

  • 7,000 of San Francisco’s 28,800 metered spaces.
  • 12,250 spaces in 15 of the 20 parking garages that the SFMTA manages.

How is SFpark funded?

Funding for SFpark project comes primarily from a $19.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Urban Partnership Program.

Is SFpark a way for the City to raise revenue?

No. The primary goal of SFpark is to improve parking availability. Hourly parking rates have increased in high-demand areas and at high-demand times but rates are also decreasing in low-demand areas and times. While parking meter revenues may increase, parking ticket revenue will decrease due to longer time limits and new meters that make it easy to pay. By reducing circling and double-parking, SFpark will help the SFMTA reduce Muni costs by speeding up buses and streetcars.

Has the SFpark approach to parking management been tested elsewhere?

While several cities have implemented some elements of SFpark, San Francisco is the first city to put in place a full package of smart parking management technology and policies in such an extensive area. SFpark will be carefully evaluated so its benefits can be extended throughout San Francisco as well as to other cities.

If the goal is to create the right level of parking availability, why relax time limits?

At most SFpark meters, the time limit for regular parking is four hours; and some meters have no time limit at all. SFpark emphasizes the use of demand-responsive pricing to achieve parking availability goals rather than time limits to achieve a vague turnover goal, recognizing that turnover is simply a strategy to achieve availability. Easing time limit restrictions makes parking more convenient for drivers, but it does not mean that all people will park longer. Extended time limits simply allow individuals to park longer if they want to.

Will SFpark drive people and business away from the City?

No. Surveys show that drivers in the Bay Area place a high value on parking convenience. Right now, some people don’t shop in San Francisco because they feel parking is too hard to find. SFpark’s goal is to make parking easier and more convenient. The price of parking will be the lowest price possible to achieve the availability target. Time limits are also longer and the new meters make it easier to pay, helping change perceptions about parking in San Francisco.

Won’t the SFpark app encourage drivers to use their smartphones while driving?

SFpark is intended to create an environment that leads to fewer distracted drivers, improving safety for all users of the road.

Every time the SFpark app launches, customers see a warning message reminding them that using a smartphone while driving is dangerous and against the law. While the app is open, it shows an additional reminder if the phone is detected moving faster than 10 miles per hour.

The smartphone app and web map are expected to be accessed before a trip begins or to be operated by a passenger if accessed while in motion. SFMTA strongly discourages illegal use of the SFpark app including accessing the app while driving.

How can I get parking information on my phone if I don’t have an iPhone or Android?

Parking information is available on SFpark.org as well as on the iPhone and Android apps. In addition to the apps provided by the SFMTA, outside developers are using the SFpark data feed to create other apps.

For those who do not use smart phones, the region’s 511 system offers on-street parking and garage availability and rate information. SFpark no longer provides garage information via text message because of low service usage.