SF bumps parking meter fees by 25 cents

Drivers who pay for parking at meters should bring some extra change when parking in San Francisco starting in February.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors approved to increase parking meter rates citywide by 25 cents while getting rid of a 27-cent transaction fee for those who use a credit card or phone to pay the parking meter.

Last July, the transit agency approved the transaction fee in order to pay for credit card and phone processing charges. The fee went into effect the following month.

Soon after, Visa informed the SFMTA it was precluded from charging consumers a transaction fee under a prior agreement with The City, said Sonali Bose, SFMTA director of finance and technology:

“The agreement between The City and Bank of America has an underlying agreement with Visa that prohibits us from charging transaction charges.”

Without the 27-cent transaction fee paying for the credit card and phone processing charges, the transit agency said in documents it would have to pay $6.2 million from its operating budget.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said staff made every effort to not bring the item to the board, but said the City agreement was pretty clear.

Reiskin said that the transit agency will make the changes quickly to avoid getting The City in trouble and possible fines.

The 25-cent parking meter rate increase will go into effect in 31 days, the transit agency said. New hourly rates could cost as much $6.25 in the downtown area.

Parking meter rates were last increased in 2009.