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And of course the new smart system will enable parking enforcers to give you a ticket more quickly and efficiently as they will certainly have devices in their cars that indicate immediately when any meter in the neighborhood expires while a car is still parked there. I suspect this is the major motivation.

I can't find the article now, but there was something here a month or so ago about the new parking meters in San Fran. I believe you'll be able to add time to your meter and get alerts that you're running low via mobile phone with these new meters.

You make a lot more money off parking tickets than you make off of parking meters.


San Francisco parking fine revenue is on the order of $100 million, annually: http://articles.sfgate.com/2008-08-01/bay-area/17122003_1_me...

Parking meter revenue for three years doesn't match that: http://articles.sfgate.com/2007-01-25/bay-area/17226881_1_me...

True, not all tickets are written for meters, but it's clearly in the city's revenue-earning interest to make it more difficult to legally park and write more tickets. And since a parking meter earns $55-65 with a ticket but only $2-3.50 for an hour of legitimate parking, an entire day or two of legitimate meter use earns the city exactly as much money as a single meter violation. Some municipalities--Seattle, as I recall--expressly prohibit paying a parking meter that isn't yours; the only reasonable rationale for this is to increase ticketing rates.

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