SFMTA Decides Today Whether to Jack Up Parking Rates

By Jeremy Lybarger : sfweekly – excerpt

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…

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… (more)

The SFMTA has a real problem if it can’t balance its 1 billion dollar budget. That’s right. 1 billion dollars out of the city’s 9 billion dollar budget goes to the SFMTA. And that is in addition to the 500 million in bonds they just talked tax payers into giving them. Hope those who voted against L like the traffic cause you gave them the benefit of the doubt.

New Fee Would Increase the Cost of Parking in San Francisco
But that convenience has a cost — merchant transaction fees. Until now, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has covered the cost of processing credit and debit cards with federal grant money, as part of the SFpark pilot. Now it’s planning to pass that cost on to the people using the service.
At a meeting Tuesday, the agency’s board will likely vote to add a 27-cent fee when drivers use a card to pay for a meter… (more)

The SFMTA May Soon Test a Smartphone Ticketing App for Muni Riders

resetsanfrancisco – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency recently announced its plans to run a six-month trial for using a smartphone ticketing app for Muni riders to pay their fares.

Easier for Riders

… Although riders already have the option of buying a Clipper Card, the app would, in theory, best aid riders who don’t want to bother with the card, or don’t want to fumble for their wallet every time they get on a crowded train during rush hour. The app however, is not intended to replace Clipper, though will be a better alternative to light rail fare cards for some.

SFGate reported that the app will “allow passengers to pay single-ride, cable car and special event fares, and buy visitor passports using their smart phones,” however the app will not include Fast Passes on phones… (more)

How many ways can you say “Privileged?”

Smart phone apps are fine for the riders who can afford them and the banks and Apple who will share in the transaction fees that will be added to each ticket charged on the smart phones. How will a smart phone app help the less affluent Muni riders?