2015 has seen a rise in Golden Gate Bridge tolls and Muni fares — now you can add another hike to the list: parking. Although it’s not official yet, KQED reports that the SFMTA board is poised to approve a fee bump for using the city’s parking meters.
The projected increase is a result of the city’s initiative to update parking meters from coin-operated only to meters that accept credit and debit cards. Since 2010, when meter conversions began, the city has paid merchant fees associated with card processing, using federal grant money to cover those costs. But Paul Rose, an SFMTA spokesman, told KQED that the agency would have to earmark $47.7 million over the next nine years to continue footing that bill.
Instead, the agency wants to decrease transaction fees for pay-by-phone from 45 cents to 27 cents and increase transaction fees for credit cards to 27 cents. That way, both payment methods would be equivalent in cost.
“It’s something that we have to do to ensure we can keep moving forward with this option,” Rose told KQED.
According to Priceonomics, a San Francisco-based blog that crawls the web for data, the SFMTA makes over $130 million per year from parking and meter citations. In 2013, the average parking ticket was $74, the most expensive in the country.
And, in case you’re wondering, the city’s parking meters communicate wirelessly with the SFPark data warehouse. When rates change, the new information is sent wirelessly to meters citywide.