San Francisco: The city as predator
When a vehicle gets towed due to DPT violations, AutoReturn takes the vehicle to the storage lot at 450 7th St. and Harrison.
The towing fee is $472, and you get a DPT citation on top of that.
For example, if you were not paying attention, it is 3:05 PM and you parked in a "Tow Away No Stopping Zone" from 3 pm - 6 pm zone.
And SFMTA proposes fare, fee, and fine increases for Fiscal 2015-2016.
The above document gives details and the breakdown of fees: MTA charges a $254 administrative fee and AutoReturn Tow fee is $208.75.
Total for car tow: $462.75, not including the DPT citation.
The same page: "SFMTA’s towing and storage administrative fees partially recover the cost of SFMTA’s towing and storage administrative oversight at this time."
What does "administrative oversight" mean? DPT officer gives a citation, calls AutoReturn and watches the car getting towed. AutoReturn takes the vehicle to the storage lot. They release the vehicle only after you pay the towing fee of $462.75. Then you have 30 days to pay DPT for the citation.
AutoReturn does all the work for $208. While MTA collects $254 per tow for no work at all.
MTA is a welfare organization. They need a cost of living adjustment to increase their towing fees by $9, from $254 to $263 starting July 2014.
When a car gets towed in Houston, San Diego, and Chicago the towing fee is between $100 and $150. These cities don't have a bloated MTA that is hungry for money.
The latest figures from the city show that City Hall is already bringing in $247,349,190 a year from parking tickets, traffic tickets, red light cameras, gas taxes, vehicle license fees, parking meters, and the many city-owned parking lots. And there's the $84 million a year in sales taxes that the SFCTA rakes in to maintain city streets. It's not enough for City Hall, and it never will be.