San Francisco Transit Transit agency approves ‘surge’ pricing to lower and raise parking meter costs

Like a seesaw, San Francisco parking meters will soon rise and fall with regularity.

The meters are set to “surge” in price when demand for parking grows, and decrease when the demand lessens, after approval of a parking program by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors on Tuesday.

The sweeping change across The City’s 28,000 parking meters is aimed at pointing drivers to empty spaces and steering them away from busy neighborhoods, according to SFMTA staff.

“The goal of this project is to get people into parking spaces as quickly as possible,” Hank Wilson, an SFMTA planner, told the board Tuesday.

The proposal was tested in a 2011 pilot program called SFPark, funded by a U.S. Department of Transportation grant. For a year, 7,000 parking meters in San Francisco tested the concept in the Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf, Fillmore, downtown and Civic Center neighborhoods, according to an SFMTA report.