SFPark: a novel experiment mixing transport planning, economics and technology

Tyler Cowen points to this amazing concept/experiment called SF Park in San Francisco.

Circling for parking accounts for approximately 30 percent of city driving. Reducing this traffic by helping drivers find parking benefits everyone. More parking availability makes streets less congested and safer. Meters that accept credit cards reduce frustration and the need for parking citations. With SFpark: Circle Less, Live More.  SFpark works by collecting and distributing real-time information about where parking is available so drivers can quickly find open spaces.

To help achieve the right level of parking availability, SFpark will periodically adjust meter pricing up and down to match demand. Demand-responsive pricing encourages drivers to park in underused areas and garages, reducing demand in overused areas. With SFpark, real-time data and demand-responsive pricing work together to readjust parking patterns in the City so that parking is easier to find.

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 yearsstarting summer 2010.  Federal funding through the Department of Transportation’s Urban Partnership Program pays for 80 percent of the SFpark project.

Amazing stuff. The parking spaces will have sensors, meters and parking space details will be disseminated via multiple systems.

There is an article which has more details:

More than four years in the making, SFpark aims to use demand-based pricing to influence where and when people park. City officials released more details of the potentially epochal scheme last week.

Rates at curbside meters in the project area will be adjusted block by block in an attempt to have at least one parking space available at any time on a given block.

That way, transportation planners speculate, drivers will spend less time circling for parking, resulting in less traffic congestion, ozone-depleting carbon emissions and aggravation.

The hourly rate to park at a meter in San Francisco currently ranges from $2 to $3.50, depending on the neighborhood. Agency officials anticipate the price will fluctuate between 25 cents and $6 under SFpark.

The price could jump as high as $18 an hour for special events, such as popular ballgames, street festivals and Fleet Week. However, the special event rates initially will be closer to $5 an hour.

Pricing details are there in the website as well.

“It’s just going to bring parking into the rest of the market economy,” said parking guru Donald Shoup, an economist and professor of urban planning at UCLA who has been at the forefront of the parking-reform movement.

He said the concept is no different than charging more for theater tickets on Friday and Saturday nights.

The city has embedded thousands of sensors in the pavement to measure when a parking space is being used.

The meter prices will be adjusted once a month. However, they will vary during times of the day, with different rates for the morning, early-afternoon, late-afternoon and nighttime periods.

While drivers could end up paying more to park, there will be a trade-off of added convenience. Time restrictions at many meters will be extended to four hours, and the meters will accept payment by coin, credit card and prepaid parking cards. A pay-by-phone option also is in the works.

Will be great to see the results…

2 Responses to “SFPark: a novel experiment mixing transport planning, economics and technology”

  1. desainer grafis, desainer grafis indonesia, desain grafis Says:

    desainer grafis, desainer grafis indonesia, desain grafis…

    […]SFPark: a novel experiment mixing transport planning, economics and technology « Mostly Economics[…]…

  2. SF Park Ripoff Says:

    SFpark Uses the ENRON Model for Pricing….How did that work out for you last time? Get the truth about this boondoggle project at sfpark.info

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