Wednesday, July 03, 2013

San Francisco: Most expensive parking tickets in US

From yesterday's SF Chronicle telling us that San Francisco now has the most expensive parking tickets in the country:

Paul Rose, a spokesman for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which oversees parking enforcement and sets fees and fines, described the increases as "adjustments meant to keep increases incremental and predictable" and keep pace with increased enforcement and administrative costs, which have gone up 3.5 percent. Since the agency began the SFPark program, which is testing the notion of parking fees that rise and fall with demand, along with other changes, has installed modern parking meters that take credit cards as well as coins and allow parkers to pay by phone. Those changes have made it easier for motorists to avoid getting tickets, Rose said. "We've seen a steady reduction in the number of tickets being issued," he said.

Right. The MTA has to keep up with rising "administrative costs" because it has a 5,000-employee bureaucracy to maintain[Later: As of 2015, there were 6,263 employees in the SFMTA and Reiskin makes $304,000] along with Ed Reiskin's $294,000 salary. I bet Rose makes well above six figures, too, since he's been bullshitting for the MTA for years.

Any reduction in parking tickets cuts into the agency's "predictable" income, which the Examiner reported more than three years ago, and was confirmed by this retired meter guy in a Chronicle story. The MTA does in fact have a quota in the number of parking tickets its individual "parking control officers" must give to those unfortunates who have to drive in San Francisco.

Rose and the MTA like to say that parking meters are all about "managing" parking in the city, but the reality is that parking tickets and parking meters are a major source of income for the city.

See the Transportation Fact Sheet for the numbers: In FY 2011-2012, the city made $47,138,412 from its parking meters (page 8) and $83,290,024 from parking tickets (page 11). Note that the city made twice as much from parking tickets as it did from parking meters.

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At 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can the average citizen stop MTA? They are out of control.

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't park like a dipshit, don't get a ticket.

Pretty simple and the actual cost of parking didn't go up.

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

but we all know that unlike the scofflaw cyclists, drivers are perfect and never get parking tickets because they follow the rules!

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Rkeezy said...

Any budget that is based on fines and penalties is a ludicrous venture. You instate penalties to discourage behavior, the behavior reduces, then the penalty becomes more severe or the bar for bad behavior is changed. It's never ending, and a foolish way to run any kind of organization with a budget. Folks who don't drive will feel the squeeze, even though they jeer and hiss now at everything with a motor in it. They've moved the goalposts before, what makes you think they're not just going to come after you next?

At 6:43 PM, Anonymous sfthen said...

What instigated formation of the DPT was when Feinstein couldn't run the City with budget she was given so just tossed her hands in the air and said, "We'll just double the parking fines."

The revolt was based correctly on the fact that it was Taxation Without Representation so she had to hunker down and form the DPT. Back then the money went into the General Fund but little by little the DPT got absorbed in the monolithic and untouchable SFMTA. Along with all that money.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rkeezy - do you have a more relevant way to discourage the bad behavior? or should we just accept it?

At 10:42 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Discouraging "bad behavior" is not what the city is doing here. It's simply preying on motorists in SF to support a growing, already-bloated City Hall bureaucracy. The MTA itself can't improve our Muni system even though it now has more than 5,000 employees.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Discouraging "bad behavior" is not what the city is doing here. It's simply preying on motorists in SF to support a growing, already-bloated City Hall bureaucracy."

I see. Let's ask two questions.

1) Do you think there should be any parking "rules"? Things like limited time parking, no double parking, no parking in front of a hydrant, no parking in front of someone's driveway, etc...

2) If we have these rules, and people ignore the rules, how do we get said people to start complying with the rules?

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It's not a matter of rules or no rules. It's about how those rules are enforced. As it is the MTA's primary motivation seems to be raising money to maintain and/or expand its 5,000-employee bureaucracy, not to serve the people of the city.

The first rule of all meter maids/dudes should be: always give the motorist the benefit of the doubt if the call is even close.

At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first rule of all meter maids/dudes should be: always give the motorist the benefit of the doubt if the call is even close.

You sound just like those whiny cyclists - the first rule of rolling a stop sign is that give the cyclist the benefit of the doubt if they didn't hit anyone.

RULES ARE RULES. Unless Robbie doesn't like the rule, apparently!

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous SF visitor said...

Parked near pier 35, the parking station only gave us 4 hrs max. This did not give us time to get to the boat for Alcatraz, visit it and then reurn. Were 1/2 hour late and got a ticket. We wanted to pay for 6 hrs but could not, they need to increase the max near the wharf.

At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Park in the parking garage.


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