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Demand for on-street parking space is on the rise now that fewer people are relying on public transit. In response, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency is reinstating parking meter rates Monday to levels near pre-pandemic levels.

On April 1, when most businesses were closed and traffic diminished due to the city’s shelter-in-place order, the agency lowered parking meter rates to 50 cents per hour — down from the average hourly rate of $2.50 — and suspended meter time limits.

DPT Parking Ticket Enforcement
Rick/Flickr San Francisco, Calif. parking control officers will resume meter enforcement July 13, 2020 after a three-month hiatus during Covid-19 pandemic shelter orders. (Rick/Flickr)

Now that some businesses are starting to reopen, the agency hopes to dissuade drivers from leaving cars parked in one spot all day as a way to ensure parking spaces remain available in commercial corridors.

Parking meter rates will vary based on the area’s demand and time of day and will be discounted by 50 cents, the transit agency said.

Parking control officers will resume meter enforcement beginning July 13.

Officials said meters are being deep cleaned as crews conduct collection and maintenance work.

The agency is also adjusting the schedule for rate changes. Normally, the agency increases or decreases rates by 25 cents every three months or leaves the rate unchanged, but they will instead make adjustments every six weeks to accommodate the changing environment during the pandemic.

ParkingMeter(
Jerold Chinn/SFBay San Francisco, Calif. parking meter rates will return to near pre-pandemic levels beginning Monday, July 6, 2020. (Jerold Chinn/SFBay)

The SFMTA last month reinstated street sweeping violations to improve Public Works staff access to curbs for street cleaning activities.

Residential parking permits and neighborhood time limits are currently not being enforced, the agency says.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the SFMTA normally changes parking meter rates every six months. The story should have read every three months. The story further clarifies that new parking meter rates are discounted by 50 cents. The headline was also changed to reflect the return of “near” pre-pandemic charges. SFBay regrets the error.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco for SF Bay. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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