Conduct extensive outreach, be transparent about goals, policies, and methods of installing an advanced parking management system, and communicate clearly how the revenue from a new parking management system will be used.

San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's experience in implementing advanced parking management (Interim Results).

August 2011
San Francisco,California,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The SFpark pilot project of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) uses a demand-based approach to adjusting parking rates at metered parking spaces in the SFpark pilot areas and at SFpark garages. SFpark's combination of time-of-day demand-responsive pricing and off-peak discounts at garages is expected to reduce circling and double-parking, as well as influence when and how people choose to travel. Lessons learned from the project communications and outreach aspect of the SFpark pilot project are presented below.
  • Develop an effective communications team and conduct extensive outreach. Having a skilled communications and design team that is passionate about the project was part of the success in launching the SFpark project. Outreach, including hundreds of one-on-one meetings with community leaders from the start of the project, was essential to the project's reception. Through this outreach, key leaders in the community came to understand the project and were then able to explain or advocate for SFpark to constituents who trust their opinion. Project outreach to customers, stakeholders, and within the SFMTA required a large amount of time, passion, and advocacy.
  • Realize parking management as a powerful tool. With the SFpark pilot project, the SFMTA has shifted towards recognizing parking management as a powerful tool for achieving transportation goals. However, many users have been skeptical of the SFMTA's goals for parking management and fear that SFpark is simply a way to raise parking rates. Being able to communicate that promise with our customers and stakeholders, and then follow through by lowering parking rates where merited, was important. These actions help to establish more trust and credibility in SFMTA parking management.
  • Be transparent about parking goals, policies, and methods. Transparent communications by the project management helped to be open and clear about SFpark's goals, policies, and methods. For instance, when prices are adjusted, it is clear why decisions are made to raise rates, lower them, or keep them the same.
  • Communicate clearly how the revenue from parking is used. In San Francisco, revenue from parking meters, citations, and garages is returned to the SFMTA to support transit services. It was important to have a clear explanation of how parking revenue from SFpark (or SFMTA parking management) is used, and relating parking management revenues to funding transit and the overall transportation system is typically well-received.
Communications and outreach to stakeholders is critical to deployment of advanced parking management as a tool to manage parking supply and demand, rate, and reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. To the extent that SFpark successfully achieves these functions, the project is also relevant to other cities because it is easily replicable. SFpark is expected to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and emissions, increase safety for all road users, and enhance quality of life.

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SFpark: Putting Theory Into Practice - Post-launch implementation summary and Lessons learned

Published By: San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

Source Date: August 2011

URL: http://sfpark.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/sfpark_aug2011projsummary_web-2.pdf

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Lesson ID: 2012-00622