Tuesday, September 30, 2014

UPDATE: The SFpark Pilot Program Evaluation

UPDATE - September 30, 2014

The pilot phase of SFpark has concluded.  Here is an update of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's (SFMTA) rigorous evaluation of the parking program and next steps.

SFpark was a federally funded demonstration of a new approach to managing parking. It used better information, including real-time data where parking is available, and demand-responsive parking pricing to help make parking easier to find. The SFpark project collected an unprecedented amount of data to enable a thorough evaluation of its effectiveness.

The SFpark pilot phase ran from 2011 to 2013.  The evaluation shows that the SFpark pilot delivered:
  • Lower average hourly parking rates 
  • Improved parking availability 
  • Greater ease in finding parking 
  • Fewer parking citations through easier payment (including credit/debit card and pay-by-phone) 
  • Decreased greenhouse gas emissions 
  • Decreased vehicle miles traveled (through reduced parking search time) 
A short version of the evaluation will give you the highlights of the SFpark experience:


You can review the results in more depth by viewing the full evaluation:


In addition to its local benefits, the pilot project was designed to enable rigorous evaluation of its merits and to share methodologies with cities around the world. To that end, the SFpark team has also produced a how-to manual for transportation professionals, and a technical manual for technology professionals, in cities around the world. The policy goals behind SFpark are well known, but the technology and data that drove the project were particularly transformative, and many other cities around the world are hoping to recreate San Francisco’s success.



As the pilot winds down, the SFMTA will continue to share the evaluation results with San Franciscans and will consider possible applications beyond the pilot later in the fall of 2014
Original Post - August 31, 2010

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is testing a new parking management system: SFpark. It uses sensors, new meters, and real-time parking data to take the guesswork out of parking in the City. These elements work together to, according to the SFMTA, make parking easier to find and more convenient. The benefits will cascade to drivers, Muni riders, bicyclists, pedestrians, visitors, merchants and more.  SFpark will be testing its new parking management system at 6,000 of San Francisco’s 25,000 metered spaces and 12,250 spaces in 15 of 20 City-owned parking garages. The pilot phase of SFpark will run for two years starting summer 2010.  Click here to view a map of the pilot areas.

SFpark sensors, installed in parking spaces and in City-owned garages, track in real-time where parking is and isn’t available. Sensor data is uploaded wirelessly to the SFpark data feed, which will then make that information available to the public via SFpark.org, street signs and smart phone applications. Real-time information about where parking is available will help drivers find parking with less hassle.

Parking will also frequently cost less. SFpark will adjust meter prices based on demand to encourage drivers to make trips in off-peak hours and to use parking lots and garages. While high-demand spaces will gradually go up in price, other spaces will decrease in cost.

As meter and garage pricing shifts to increase availability, instead of some blocks being full and others empty, the goal is to have, on average, at least one parking space available on every block. Once a space is found, longer time limits and new meters that accept credit and debit cards will make it easier to avoid parking tickets.

Three main technical components comprise the SFpark project—sensors to record parking availability, new meters to make it easier to pay, and a data feed to process and distribute information about where parking is available.

If you have any questions or concerns about SFpark, please contact Ken Cleaveland, BOMA San Francisco's Director of Government and Public Affairs at kenc@boma.com, and John M. Bozeman, BOMA San Francisco's Legislative Assistant, at johnb@boma.com.

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