Parking Meter Costs And Muni Fares Could Increase
November 18, 2011
Getting around in San Francisco might become more expensive very soon. The SFMTA faced with a looming budget deficit is considering several ways to increase revenue, from raising the cost of Muni fares to extending parking meter rates, to help close its two-year projected budget deficit of $79.7 million.
Many of the proposed ideas have been mentioned before — Reset reported on SFMTA’s idea to increase parking meter fine tickets in September.
Parking Meter Hours Could Be Extended
Under the new round of proposed ideas, the SFMTA is considering ending free Sunday parking meters. Additionally, the agency is looking at the possibility of extending existing parking meter hours in certain busy neighborhoods until midnight on the weekends, as well as adding 500 to 1,000 new parking meters in San Francisco. The SFMTA estimates that these new measures would generate an additional $12.8 million annually to the agency’s revenue. On Monday, November 14, most of the seven-person board of directors, including Chairman Tom Nolan, indicated support for using parking meter revenue to help make up that shortfall.
Along with parking meter changes, the SFMTA is toying with the idea of altering parking garage policies in the city to discontinue discounted parking rates in downtown garages — no more early bird parking garage discounts.
According to the Board of Supervisors’ legislative analyst, San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities to park in the nation. San Francisco's parking meter rates are the highest of any city for parking outside of a downtown area.
Muni Riders To See Cost Increase As Well
Muni riders may also see a cost increase from $2 for a single-trip fare to $2.25. The SFMTA board is not scheduled to approve a final budget until early next year. SFMTA director Ed Reiskin stressed that right now these proposals are just ideas.
We all know we need to generate revenue to support important services like a reliable MUNI. But we should be investing in real solutions, like closing the political raid on Muni’s budget through a process called work orders and reducing fare evasion before increasing the cost of transportation for all San Franciscans.