The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), this month announced that, in conjunction with the SFpark project, it will add the convenience of pay-by-phone technology to San Francisco meters, including those in the SFpark pilot areas as well as regular city and port of San Francisco meters later this year.
“We look forward to providing additional convenience for our parking customers,” said Tom Nolan, chairman of the SFMTA board of directors. “Anything we can do to make it easier for folks to pay at the meter furthers our goal of helping our customers get to their destinations quickly and easily.”
“The SFMTA is committed to improving parking throughout the city and this is one more tool to improve the driving and parking experience in San Francisco. To this end, we are excited to offer another parking payment option,” said Nathaniel P. Ford Sr., executive director/CEO. “Along with the SFpark initiatives, this technology will help improve the customer experience by making it more convenient to pay for parking at locations throughout San Francisco.”
When launched later this year, the pay-by-phone service will enable drivers to pay by credit card instead of coins by using any phone or via the internet. Customers parking in San Francisco will also enjoy the ease and convenience of receiving a text message reminder before their meter expires, adding time to their meter remotely (subject to time limit restrictions) and receiving their meter receipts online.
In order to use the service, customers will first establish an account linked to a credit card either online or by phone. Customers will then make payments by entering the unique parking location number found on each meter. The total price will include the regular meter rate plus a convenience fee of up to $.45 per transaction initially to the vendor for this optional service.
The SFMTA chose contractor Verrus Mobile Technologies Inc., also known as PayByPhone, through a competitive RFP process. The pay-by-phone services will be provided by Verrus Mobile Technologies Inc., at no cost to the city. In September 2007, the SFMTA began a two-year pilot of pay-by-phone technologies in three different areas of the city. The pilot, conducted in busy neighborhood commercial districts with a mixture of restaurants, service and retail businesses, considered driver usage and response, revenues and costs, and enforcement and maintenance.