SFpark's pilot program began back in 2011 in areas of the city where it was notoriously difficult to park: in the Marina, along Fillmore Street, near Fisherman's Wharf, in the Mission, downtown, near Civic Center and Hayes Valley, and around South Beach. The primary goal of the program was to make it easier to find a parking space. It has done this by adjusting the cost of parking meters based on demand. It also allowed drivers to use credit cards or apps to pay for parking meters. An evaluation of the pilot program shows that the average hourly rate at meters actually decreased from $2.69 to $2.58, while the amount of time that blocks were too full to find parking decreased by 16% in areas with SFpark even as it went up by 51% in comparable areas without the program.
PaybyPhone, the app allowing drivers to pay for meters on their phones, and new meters that accept credit cards were also part of SFpark. The average number of tickets given for expired meters decreased by 23% within the pilot area. Higher percentages of drivers complied with parking meter laws, although the program evaluation notes that these numbers could still be greatly improved upon. For example, in Civic Center, meters were only paid for about 37% of the time that they were occupied before the program started, and 50% of the time after.
· SFpark Pilot Program Evaluation [SFMTA, PDF]