San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)

CA: SFMTA Upgrades Parking Meters

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has started updating all of the city’s single-space parking meters.

Most of the multi-space meters (or pay stations) have already been upgraded. This program will only upgrade existing meters and will not add additional meters to the parking supply.

“Upgrading our parking meters is one more step in making our parking system smarter and easier, while providing more convenient payment options for those who need to park in San Francisco,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA director of transportation. “These benefits will ultimately make our transportation system more efficient, while continuing to reduce the number of parking citations throughout the city.”

Citywide, parking citations have already been reduced by 12 percent.

The new easy-to-use smart meters:

  • Accept credit and debit cards, SFMTA parking cards, PayByPhone, and coins;
  • Have larger display screens;
  • Show PayByPhone transactions right on the meter display. On older meters, the display screen remains unchanged following a PayByPhone transaction; and
  • Provide flexible time limits that will eventually allow for multiple uses at the same meter. For example, a yellow loading zone meter can be used as a regular meter for longer time limits outside of the loading hours.

Upgrading parking meters does not change current meter rates, time limits, or hours of operation. While these meters are smart and similar to SFpark meters, this is a separate program that covers the entire city. SFpark will be considered for expansion later this year.

The installation process will take several months, as the Agency is replacing 24,897 existing single space parking meters (24,327 on-street meters and 570 off-street meters). The new meters will also have updated decals to better communicate parking rules and make it easier to pay.

The installation will not affect those parking in the area and no parking spaces will be closed during installation. The SFMTA’s Meter Shop staff simply replaces the dome and mechanism at each space, utilizing the same pole and meter housing. As meters are replaced, staff will reload any time that was already on the meter before replacement. Meters that do not accept credit cards will be prioritized for replacement before those that do.

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