Too many parking tickets in SF

By David Hegarty : sfbg – excerpt

OPINION San Francisco made $87 million in parking citation revenue in 2012; roughly double what the city made off actual paid parking meter revenue.

Let that sink in for a minute.

It’s become so hard to park a car in San Francisco that its citizens are paying almost $281,500 a day simply to park, and then they’re cited for doing it wrong.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency should be responsible to the people — to create and maintain clean, orderly streets and transit systems that work for the people who use them.

The responsibility of the SFMTA is not to incentivize government agents to write more tickets and make citizens a passive revenue stream because it’s convenient. Parking citations, in their current form, do not support an ethical citizen-focused approach by the city to parking law and violations.

The simple fact that revenue gained for parking citations is roughly double that of legal, paid parking meter revenue shows an inherent flaw in the system. If it is easier for the city to make money by writing citations, why would it change its systems to create more revenue through meters or alternative means such as license fees or permitting, even if it significantly benefitted citizens of San Francisco? It makes more financial sense to incent its relatively small fleet of parking authority officers to write more tickets…

Conflicting rules and regulations between systems are also a common issue in San Francisco — often signs will contradict themselves or other SFMTA systems, with no clear indication of which rules precede the others. Meters are inconsistent with other regulatory systems in use, permanent parking restriction signs are sometimes missing, hidden, or poorly maintained, and temporary restrictions are often inaccurate — creating grossly unfair conditions for people parking, and incorrectly written tickets by parking enforcement officers…

Ethical parking law would be a clear, mutually fair system which benefits citizens of San Francisco, creates revenue for the city through legal, noncriminal means, and enables a parking environment where citizens can easily follow the rules. Parking law should be optimized for clean, orderly streets and transit programs that are profitable and reliable — instead of convenient revenue.

There must be another way to achieve SFMTA budget requirements than to make the people this government agency should be serving into unintentional criminals.

David Hegarty is the founder of Fixed (, a company that helps customers contest parking tickets… (more)

Serco is hiring, sort of

jobsbucket – excerpt

Parking Meter Revenue Collector (Trainee) for 12.66 an hour
This job opportunity is made available through the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency – Contract Compliance Office’s Employee Training Program.
Retrieve, deposit, secure, load, unload and move parking meter coin revenue from individual parking meters within designated worksites.
Report and record the condition of parking meters during the collection process.

  • Walks between 4 to 6 miles per day on sidewalks, ascending and descending frequently on uneven and steep streets of San Francisco.
  • Frequently exits and enters the front cab of a truck.
  • Frequently exits and enters the cargo compartment of a truck.
  • Frequently moves coin vaults horizontally from cart to truck conveyer and vice versa weighing up to 150 pounds.
  • Must have a clean criminal record.
  • Basic command of the English language is required.
  • Must be able to follow instructions.

Typically reports to a crew leader, supervisor or manager.
Position Type: Part-Time/Regular. Hours and days are variable. No weekends.
Rate of Pay: $12.66 per hour
Medical, Dental, Vision, 401K, and other benefits are offered, and will start within 30 days of hire. Paid sick leave will start to accrue after 90 days at the rate of 1 hour for every 22 hours worked.
Pre-employment drug screening and background check for candidates that are selected to move forward in the hiring process.
All resumes must be sent to in order to be considered.

The First Sunday With Metered Parking: Was It Completely Ignored?

by Aaron Bialick : – excerpt

Yesterday was supposed to be different: San Francisco parking meters were to be in effect during business hours on Sundays for the first time ever, meaning fewer drivers would be clogging up the streets looking for a spot.
But in at least two busy commercial districts, nearly every parking meter appeared occupied but unpaid. The displays flashed “expired,” but parking control officers were absent, as were the warning leaflets that the SF Municipal Transportation Agency said it would hand out during the first three weeks before actual ticketing kicks in…

Update: SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said PCOs distributed 4,000 warnings citywide, including 600 in the Haight area, and approximately 1,000 warnings in the Mission District. He also said that “old meters” don’t display a change when drivers pre-pay or pay by cell phone(more)

SFMTA, please save your breathe. Don’t bother to mention your congestion parking price theories anymore because nobody is buying it! Learn to live within your well-endowed means like the rest of us!

One good thing is happening. Thanks to SFMTA’s  unpopular Sunday parking meter program, The “Stop SFMTA” petition signatures are blossoming, along with a lot of negative comments and suggestions to city officials on what should be done with your department.

After 65 tears an SF tradition ends – free metered Sunday parking
Many drdivers upset by new SF parking meter rules  “…Those who run religious education programs think it will affect attendance, “I’m not going to be able to get my volunteers to stay, it runs through 12:30,” said Joyce Fletham with Glide Memorial. “People are going to leave because a $75 dollar parking ticket for a half hour of education is not going to be worth it to them…”
S.F. Sunday parkers get grace period …”Conveniently, and perhaps not coincidentally, the agency announced Monday that all city-controlled parking meters are now outfitted to accept payment by cell phone – but it will cost 45 cents per transaction. Meters along the Embarcadero that are controlled by the Port of San Francisco are not yet equipped for the service…”

I love this. 45 cents for the banks each time you pay with your cell phone. And, all the meters are different, in case you hadn’t noticed yet. There is no telling how much each will cost and how long you can park in any spot. It varies all over the city.

This is designed to stress us out. They want us to go away. Well. maybe they should be the ones to go.

Parking in San Francisco: Does San Francisco make more money from expired meter tickets, or from meter payments?

Chad Powell : – excerpt

According to the SFMTA FY2009-2010 Actuals, the City brought in $95,744,061 in revenue from all parking citations issued in the City except for citations issued on  the properties of the Port Authority and the Parks and Recreation. I was unable to find a detailed breakdown of revenue by citation type. For the same period, the City scored $7,599,999 in revenue from parking meters (link that doesn’t work*)
The City of San Francisco has 26,800 parking meters. In early 2012, an analysis by the City  (link that doesn’t work*) showed 14% fewer citations and 27% more payments at the 7,000 meters accepting credit cards… (more)

Too bad these links don’t work. We need to see actual cash flow figures to determine how the SFMTA is spending our money. Clearly they aren’t spending enough of it on fixing the Muni as they were supposed to do.

San Francisco Marks 65th Year Of Parking Meters

Parick Sedillo : Yahoonews – excerpt

On August 21 st , 1947, the first parking meter was installed on San Francisco city streets. Patrick Sedillo takes a look at how the meters and the fines have changed…


SF shouldn’t gouge drivers to pay for transit

SFGate – excerpt

Get ready, San Francisco, for more parking tickets. City authorities are boosting the numbers of meter minders who are expected to write more citations bearing higher fines. It’s a strategy that taps the city’s scarce parking landscape for $86 million in penalties to pay for transit and traffic cures.

For years, the city has plainly stated its goal: Transit – the kind that involves leaving your car behind – comes first. This policy has clamped down on parking lots, drive-thrus, and major garages. It’s painted bicycle lanes, created bus-only lanes to speed travel times and posted 27 preferential parking areas designed to chase away commuters…


City Hall should find other ways to pay San Francisco’s transit bills than punishing drivers further. Jacking up parking tickets shouldn’t be an option any longer.

The parking odds are against you

  • 420,000 Number of vehicles in San Francisco
  • 281,700 Street parking spaces
  • 28,000 Parking meters
  • 380 Ticket-writing enforcers, up from 335 in 2009; another 27 next year
  • 1.534 million Number of tickets issued in 2011 – there are over 30 categories of parking tickets
  • $86.3 million Revenue from citations
  • $60-$70 Basic parking-meter ticket, depending on location
  • 4,000 Projected additional meters (also, meter enforcement expected on Sunday, which is currently a free day)


JJ MacKay unveils meters with new electronic pay features

J.J. MacKay Canada in Abercrombie unveiled two new parking meters Friday that not only accept wireless transactions, but also track the meter’s activity on an Internet site….

The company has sold more than 500,000 fully electronic parking meter mechanisms worldwide to locations such as Hong Kong, Miami, Chicago, Ottawa, Vancouver, Westminster, New York and San Francisco to name a few….


Procuring new parking meter designs seems to be the only thing SFMTA is any good at these days. Leads one to wonder why they recently claimed there are “only two kinds of parking meters.” at a recent Mission Bay Meeting. Was that for a day or two before they found this latest treasure?