At last night's meeting, the SFMTA board approved a controversial plan, set in motion earlier this year during the Mayor's State of the City address, to return to the heady, circa-2012 days of free parking meters on Sundays. Starting July 1st, Sunday drivers will no longer have to pay to park, but Muni fares will be going up to $2.25.
The 18-month Sunday meter experiment started last year to bring the Muni budget out of a record deficit and ended up bringing in over $6 million for the city — although most of that was in parking tickets. Transit, bike and pedestrian advocates all opposed the plan to roll back the meter pricing, but SFMTA transportation director Ed Reiskin called the decision "quite difficult," noting that the board wanted to "respect the mayor's call." The Mayor claimed he had received a flood of complaints over Sunday parking fees but, as we noted last week, public records didn't support that.
The other trade off here is that the agency's newly approved two-year budget will also bump up the cash adult fare to $2.25, so start hoarding your quarters now, folks. (The fare increase is only for cash fares — if you pay by Clipper, it's still $2) Likewise, monthly Muni passes will be going up to $68.
On the bright side, the budget also provides a 10% increase in Muni service and an expansion of the free Muni for youth program, which is now conveniently funded by Google. All these changes will start happening this summer, provided the Board of Supervisors sign off on it.
Correction: A previous version of this post mentioned the SFMTA board vote was unanimous, as the Examiner reported. Board member Christina Rubke voted against the change, calling it "a mistake."