A man works on his laptop as he sits on a temporary lawn that takes up a metered parking space while participating in (park)ing day September 18, 2009 in San Francisco, California.

In an effort to increase the availability of parking spaces in San Francisco, city officials voted Tuesday to expand surge pricing to each of the city’s parking meters. The program currently covers about 7,000 meters. Rates will range from 50 cents to $8 an hour, according to the Municipal Transportation Agency. We’ll discuss the program, which makes San Francisco the only U.S. city to utilize demand-based rates for all of its parking meters. But first, we’ll get an update on the fires in Southern California.


Michael Cabanatuan, transportation writer, San Francisco Chronicle
Tom Maguire, director of the Sustainable Streets Division, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

San Francisco Expands Demand-Based Pricing for Parking Meters 6 December,2017Michael Krasny


    Every time the city of Berkeley runs into financial deficit, their answer near always is to raise parking meters and parking violation fees, where a most meters are running at as much as 4 dollars an hour, and parking violation can run from a minimum of 53 dollars to as much as 350 dollars, add to that constant cheating by some meter maids when often a parking citations are issued to undeserved parked cars as the meter maids are under pressure from the city to issue as much parking citations as possible, and some of us believe that the city impose a minimum daily quota on each meter maid ,,,,,.


    Very high parking meters fees, represents real financial strain on the poor working class who may not have a practical way to use public transportation.

  • David

    I would like to see a study on the effects of San Francisco’s traffic and parking changes. I suspect that with fewer lanes, fewer turns, few parking places, and now increased parking costs, local businesses suffer. Why navigate traffic and vie for a parking spot that if there, costs $8.00 an hour? Jeff Bezos can only be happy.

  • Ben Rawner

    SF living costs have gone up and up for the last ten years. Why does the city see the necessity to squeeze city dwellers even more? This city has already pushed out thousands of low and middle class people. One more way SF is becoming just for the rich.

    • dj

      I think you are right. I drive my 12-year-old car across town for a once-weekly dinner on Clement, because Muni would take 40-60 minutes each way (on two buses) for a 20-minute drive. That doesn’t include walking down a steep hill to wait up to 20 minutes for the 52 bus to come by. So what “great transportation system” is Tom Maguire talking about? Very little good about either Muni or the MTA.

      • Chuck

        I drive my children to school because the bus ride could take up to an hour with 2 transfers and the car ride is 10 minutes. All the PR by MUNI cannot compensate for declining service and increasing fares.

    • pastramiboy

      yeah-sometimes it seems that they-the government-is intent on squeezing every penny out of us-making a joyful existence less possible than ever before. And I’m a tax and spend liberal!!!

  • Michael McGurl

    Isnt it illegal to drive and use your cell phone at the same time? Why is the parking authority promoting an illegal activity to find parking meter pricing under this surge pricing program?

  • Raphael Merriman

    CA has the most electric cars in the country
    SF is way behind European cities in proving public plug ins for EVs – this should be part of any parking discussion

  • Jennifer Vaisman

    The ford bikes are taking up so many spaces. Your guest completely evaded the caller who brought it up. With parking at such a high premium it’s a shame that bike shares and surge meters are now monopolizing our spaces.

    • steffe

      Yes, Can this be legal, taking public streets and public parking spaces for private purposes? I am surprised there isn’t a class action law suit against SFMTA. They are crooks in my book. They have deleted close to 6,000 parking spaces in the last two or three years, added 700 PRIVATE Ford bikes, deleting 3-4 parking spaces for each; there must be 9 in Noe Valley where every house owns one or two bikes, and stacks of the bikes sitting in front of businesses so you cannot access these business.
      Forget public transportation, it’s a joke. Let SFMTA or our supervisors and mayor take mass transit to work everyday and see how they like getting to work late, if at all. And, I’m assuming no one who works at SFMTA was on the muni the other evening at rush hour when a homeless man dropped his trousers
      and crapped in the middle of underground muni. Yes, SFMTA needs to be reigned in, and it is the public that needs to stand up and demand change and take back the public streets and parking.

  • marte48

    I have always thought that transportation should be free, and paid for by a progressive city tax. Commerce and urban life, including education, depends upon transportation. When I commuted to downtown SF, I was shocked how expensive, regressive, and inconvenient it was. Maintaining ticketing systems, policing, accounting, etc. cannot be cost effective. And it just punishes the poor.

    • Chuck

      You are correct. But who would pay the salaries of all the bureaucrats and planners not to mention the travel budget including trips to Europe for top brass and pols. Getting more people into MUNI would reduce traffic congestion, pollution, road rage, and the convenience and quality of life for all San Franciscans as well as tourists.

  • InabaML

    Surge parking is “privilege” parking. I am a senior citizen. Both of my children are native San Franciscans. I have had to move first to the East Bay, then to Sacramento as I was not able to afford life in the Bay Area. I still like to visit favorite sites and participate in the cultural life of the city, but have to stay in my budget. This will be a dealmaker for me. Also, discouraging short-term rentals prevents many Californians like me from staying in the city overnight as hotels are unaffordable. I often drive home to Sacramento late at night when I am overly-tired as the city has become unwelcoming to less affluent visitors. Sadly, I’ve left my heart in SF.

  • Chuck

    Purely a bureaucratic money raising scheme that is harmful to local business and residents. SFMTA spends a fortune but public transit service declines. Car shares show how public transit can provide needed services and get folks out of cars but City reacts with taxes on needy drivers, taxes and regulations on public transit by private companies, law suits by city lawyers. Why can’t the city compete by providing good public transit. People are forced into their cars. The rich will pay sky high parking rates and the poor will circle the blocks and pollute the air while they search for non-existent free or affordable parking.

  • Autumn Wind

    The SFMTA is putting the screws to all of us in more ways than one. A ticket for a meter is now $71 and SFMTA is raking in only God knows how much from this alone. It’s UBER and LYFT drivers who are double parking for drop-off and pickups causing congestion and horrible traffic conditions. Our city officials encourage this. Why doesn’t the SFMTA find a way to ticket these violators? I don’t want to use my credit card to pay for parking and I don’t want to download an app to understand how all the parking works in the city and how much it cost at specific times during the day. DEMAND BASE PRICING IS NOT OK!! I hardly ever drive my car and take MUNI all the time and I am completely against this way of making parking more complicated only to add more stress to day to day living. This will hardly reduce the price of parking and NOWHERE in the city does parking cost $0.50 per hour. You get on Forum and mis state actual facts like TRUMP.

    • Chuck

      Also, traffic congestion is caused by massive construction, confusing traffic patterns, bus only lanes that usually don’t have buses, horrible road conditions, delivery trucks, mail trucks, buses that fail to pull into bus zones, the new transit bubbles that make buses block traffic to load, unlimited commuters that lack alternatives, taxis, lack of available parking that forces drivers to cruise for spots, road construction, and private drivers who double park or stop to let off or pick up passengers. It makes one wonder what the army of city planners does. The City needs a scapegoat and Uber is it.

      • dj

        Hope this isn’t too much off topic, but in the 28 years that I have lived in the city, I have never seen the streets in such terrible condition.

        Regarding the buses, most of them pull into bus stops with their rear ends protruding, so it’s hard or impossible to get by them. Or they stop in the middle of the road to talk to the driver going the other way.

        A couple months ago, one of them ran through a crosswalk on Clement when I was halfway across (and I wasn’t looking at my phone, either). Completing one of Muni’s web complaint forms resulted in no response.

  • Craig Joyner

    Parking apps will add to distracted driving.

    Bike shares exacerbate lack of parking. Car owners squat in a space until the next street cleaning and take the bikes, preventing space turnover.

    • pastramiboy

      what do you mean”take the bikes?”
      i get your point about the new bike share stations cannibalising parking though..

      • Craig Joyner

        Take meaning use, ride


Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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