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SF to End Free Sunday & Evening Parking (Until 10pm)

Starting in July, SF will roll out an 18-month plan to extend parking meters until 10pm Monday through Saturday, plus Noon to 6pm on Sundays
By - posted 5/20/2023 No Comment

Well, San Francisco, your “free” after-hours parking ride is just about up.

Currently, most parking meters in San Francisco end enforcement at 6pm on Mondays through Saturdays and are free all days on Sundays. But starting in July 2023, (there’s no exact date listed) SFMTA will begin an 18-month neighborhood-by-neighborhood plan to extend meter operation until 10pm on Mondays through Saturdays and begin Sunday enforcement from Noon to 6pm.

SFMTA list three reasons why they are extending meter hours, but we all know that the most important reason is the last one they list. “This extension will make meter hours more consistent citywide, create more parking availability and generate revenue to help the agency sustain vital Muni service.” 

SFMTA says that it projects a $130 million deficit starting in 2025 and without the additional parking fees it would have to “cut the equivalent of 20 Muni lines.”

The first neighborhoods to see this “upgrade” will be Dogpatch and Fisherman’s Wharf in July 2023. Followed by “Phase 2” with North Beach, SoMa, Hayes Valley, Civic Center, Fidi, Marina, Union Square with other neighbhoods to follow. SFMTA says the slow roll out will hit lower-income neighorhoods last.

Read the full plan at SFMTA.

h/t SFist.

Beginning in July 2023 and continuing in phases through December 2024, the SFMTA will extend parking meter hours until 10:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and add Sunday meter hours from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Parking meters already operate in the evenings or on Sundays in some areas, including Mission Bay, South Beach, the 18th Street business district in Potrero Hill and along the Embarcadero. This extension will make meter hours more consistent citywide, create more parking availability and generate revenue to help the agency sustain vital Muni service.

Evening and Sunday parking meter hours

Evening and Sunday parking meter hours will be implemented in six phases over a period of 18 months, beginning with Dogpatch and Fisherman’s Wharf. To take into account historic inequities in San Francisco, the rollout will come to lower-income neighborhoods whose residents are predominantly people of color last. In the meantime, SFMTA staff will be doing extensive outreach and meeting with merchant groups, religious leaders, neighborhood groups and elected officials to discuss the program.

Extended Parking Meter Hours Phasing Plan

Current evening/Sunday meter hours  

  • Mission Bay
  • South Beach
  • Port/Embarcadero

Phase 1
July 2023

  • Dogpatch
  • Fisherman’s Wharf

Phase 2
September 2023

  • North Beach
  • Central SoMa
  • Western SoMa
  • Hayes Valley
  • Civic Center
  • Lower Polk
  • Upper Polk
  • Financial District
  • Telegraph Hill
  • Union Square
  • Union Street/Cow Hollow
  • Marina
  • Upper Fillmore

Phase 3
October to December 2023

  • Lower Divisadero
  • Upper Divisadero
  • Western Addition
  • Castro/Upper Market/Duboce Triangle
  • Inner Sunset
  • Middle Irving
  • Upper Haight
  • Cole Valley
  • Showplace Square/Northern Potrero
  • Potrero Hill (18th Street)

Phase 4
January – March 2024

  • Ocean Avenue
  • Laurel/Presidio Heights
  • Lone Mountain
  • Inner Clement
  • Inner Geary
  • Inner Balboa
  • Noe Valley
  • Bernal Heights (Cortland)
  • Glen Park

Phase 5
April – May 2024

  • West Portal
  • Outer Clement
  • Outer Geary
  • Outer Balboa
  • Outer Noriega
  • Inner Noriega
  • Taraval
  • UCSF/Parnassus

Phase 6
May – December 2024

  • Bayview
  • Visitacion Valley
  • San Bruno
  • Excelsior/Outer Mission
  • 24th Street/Calle 24
  • Inner Mission
  • Mission south of 24th
  • Northeast Mission
  • Tenderloin
  • Lower Fillmore/Japantown
  • Lower Haight
  • Chinatown
Project Overview

San Francisco uses parking meters to create available parking in commercial districts and high-demand neighborhoods. When parking meters are in operation, drivers spend less time circling the block looking for parking. Less circling means less congestion and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Though life in the city has changed dramatically over the decades, San Francisco’s parking meter hours have not changed in most neighborhoods since the first meters were installed in 1947: they are still Monday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Extending parking meter hours until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and to include Sunday between noon and 6 p.m. will expand parking availability and benefit all those who live, shop, worship and work in San Francisco. The SFMTA is facing a substantial budget deficit, and the revenue generated by extending parking meter hours will help prevent Muni service cuts.

Our data show that when meters turn off at 6:00 p.m., parking availability drops significantly. Most commercial districts in San Francisco continue operating well past 6:00 p.m., and Sundays resemble Saturdays in terms of business activity in most neighborhoods. When San Francisco tried out Sunday parking meters in 2013, parking availability was substantially improved. So in addition to generating critically important revenue, extending meter hours will support local businesses by making parking more plentiful.

Why now?

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue, and as a result, the SFMTA is expecting a potential deficit of $130 million beginning in Fiscal Year 2025. Without new revenue, the agency will be forced to cut the equivalent of 20 Muni lines. Additional revenue from extending parking meter hours can help prevent these cuts, which would disproportionately impact people with limited incomes, people of color, older adults and people with disabilities.

Outreach and Implementation

In February 2020, the Mayor encouraged the SFMTA to extend meter hours into the evening and on Sundays as a way to fight congestion. In Spring 2020, the SFMTA Board of Directors approved a two-year budget that directed staff to explore when and where extended metering hours would be appropriate. While this effort was delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Board members again urged the agency to expand parking meter hours after we discussed our dire financial situation at the Board Workshop in February 2023. SFMTA staff will be undertaking a comprehensive outreach and engagement effort to get the word out about the next extended meter hours, including offering briefings to elected leaders and faith, advocacy, business, neighborhood, and merchant groups; ensuring coverage in citywide and local media; social media updates; passing out flyers and posters along metered corridors; and providing warning notices in advance of the start of enforcement. The implementation of the new parking meter hours will take place over the course of 18 months in six phases beginning in July 2023.

Some SF neighborhoods already have meter hours that match the times that businesses are active. Parking meters run into the evenings in Fisherman’s Wharf (7:00 p.m.), Potrero Hill and Mission Bay (10:00 p.m.) and the northern and eastern waterfronts (11:00 p.m.).  Parking meters in Fisherman’s Wharf and the northern and eastern waterfront also operate on Sundays.  Note that areas that already have parking meter hours that run later than 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, or earlier than Noon or later than 6 p.m. on Sundays, will retain those longer meter hours. San Francisco is not alone in operating meter hours in the evenings and on Sundays. Many cities in California operate their parking meters until 8:00 p.m. or later during evenings, including Los Angeles, Walnut Creek, Sacramento, West Hollywood, Long Beach and even South San Francisco. Across the United States, cities such as Seattle, New York City, Boston and many others operate parking meters on evenings and/or Sundays.