BizJournals nails it when they say that people hate looking for parking in SF and almost equally hate finding coins to pay for it. That’s, perhaps, one of the reasons the SFMTA has announced that, perhaps as soon as this summer, drivers will be able to pay by phone at all city meters.
“We look forward to providing additional convenience for our parking customers,” SFMTA board chairman Tom Nolan said in a press release. “Anything we can do to make it easier for folks to pay at the meter furthers our goal of helping our customers get to their destinations quickly and easily.”
Agency spokesman Paul Rose said the SFMTA hopes to have the pay-by-phone option up and running sometime this summer.
The service will require drivers to establish, either online or by phone, an account linked to a credit card. They can then make payments by entering the parking location number found on each meter from any phone or via the Internet.
Customers will receive a text message reminder before a meter expires.
The service will include a fee of up to 45 cents per transaction that will go to the contractor that is offering the service, Verrus Mobile Technologies Inc, which will still make it cheaper than a $55 parking ticket.
The surcharge isn’t the only parking fee increase: the Ex reminds us that highly frequented meters are getting price increases by 25 cents, with many going as high as $6.
Customers will, of course, still have the option to pay whatever they’re being changed with coins or, on enabled meters, a credit card.
Dan McMenamin of Bay City News contributed to this report