Pricing is usually dictated upon demand. And some cities are testing the thought that parking shouldn’t be any different.

So shouldn’t parking in a congested area at a busy time of the day cost more than parking later in the afternoon 20 blocks away from downtown? 

San Francisco will soon test that theory.

Market-based pricing for parking spots could be the wave of the future.

San Francisco will begin an ambitious market-based pricing program starting next year.  SF Park will set prices on 6,000 parking meters and 12,250 city-owned garage spaces based on how available parking is at that time.

The pricing policies are thought to have benefits by reducing congestion resulting in less fuel consumption and frustrations for drivers.

But is the real goal to control parking congestion though, or is it to find another way for cities to make more money on residents coming downtown?

San Francisco says revenues won’t go towards the city’s general fund or the business districts, but instead to public transportation.

Some cities recently have either raised parking costs or extended the hours when people must pay for parking.

What’s your take on the idea? Do you like the idea of market-based parking? If you do, would you like it if the extra revenue is spent on public transportation rather than having the revenue go back to the business districts with the higher prices or to the general fund?

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