Update: Looking for Parking in San Francisco? There's Now An App For That

By: Helene Goupil - Thu, 21 Apr 2011 18:22:16 -0800

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Drivers looking for a spot in San Francisco can now check real-time parking information thanks to a smart phone application that launched Thursday.

SFpark, a two-year pilot project unveiled last year, provides real-time information collected by smart meters and sensors about where parking is available so that drivers can quickly find open spots.

The pilot program will only apply to select areas for now—the Civic Center, Hayes Valley, Financial District, South of Market, Mission, Fisherman's Wharf, Fillmore, and Marina neighborhoods.

In the coming months, the program will start charging drivers based on overall demand, with higher parking rates for more crowded neighborhoods and lower rates for areas with available parking.

The rates will be adjusted no more than once a month and in increments of no more than 50 cents per hour.

The website and apps show a color-coded map of the area with red marks to show where little or no parking is available, light blue marks where a moderate number of parking is free, and dark blue marks where there are many open spots.

There are concerns about people using the app while driving, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Executive Director Nat Ford said. To address the issue, a warning pops up when someone is driving faster than 10mph, he said.

The SFMTA is also providing the information in open data stream for developers who might want to incorporate it into other devices, including GPS navigation systems.

The program, which received 80 percent of its funding from a $19.4 million federal grant, covers approximately a quarter of the city's 28,800 metered parking spaces and more than 12,000 spaces in 15 of its city-owned garages.

For more information, you can visit www.sfpark.org or via an iPhone application, according to San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency officials. An Android application will be available in a few weeks.

(Copyright 2011, KRON 4 News, All Rights Reserved.)
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