The (near) future cost of living?

Here is the current state of affairs in SF.

Gas = $4.41 / gallon

Parking ticket = $50 (minimum fine, sfgate story)

“Raising parking fines will lead to more abuse on the streets,” said Luis Estrella, a San Francisco parking-control officer for the past eight years who said he was punched last year by a firefighter who got a $50 ticket.

Downtown meter violations, for example, will be fined up to $60, and parking in a street-cleaning zone will set drivers back $50. The city now makes about $90 million a year from parking fines. The increase would bring in an estimated $13 million more in the new fiscal year.

Considering that a quarter buys you five minutes in downtown SF this should create *at least* the 13MM boon the city is expected from the fine hike. For perspective NYC fines $65 for expired meters. The difference between NY and SF is manyfold of course. Better public transit and more cabs.

Golden Gate Bridge Toll = $7 (sfgate story)

Tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge could rise as high as $7 during the morning and evening commutes and on weekend and holiday afternoons, under a pair of proposals released today and to be considered by bridge district directors Friday

The fun isn’t just for the lucky motorists in this town though, there is much talk of an increase in muni fares which should compound problems like the lack of cabs and parking in this town.

Muni Fast Pass = $60 (sfgate story)

Charging $60 for a FastPass – a $15 increase – would generate an estimated $17.7 million more a year; raising the adult cash fare to $2 would bring in between $13 million and $14.8 million more a year, according to Sonali Bose, chief financial officer for the Municipal Transportation Agency.

Imho this is the formula for bloated city payrolls and bureaucrats. I’m not a mathematician but the formula looks a little like this:

Gas + Fines/Parking + Tolls/Congestion Pricing + Muni rate hikes
bike lanes/parking – safe pedestrian routes – education funding


Kind of makes you wonder who is cashing in on the misery?


4 Comments so far

  1. confoosious on May 9th, 2008 @ 1:19 pm

    It doesn’t really bother me that they are raising parking ticket fees. I’ve gotten a few. You just pay it and deal with it. Or you know, don’t go over your time limit.

    Raising public transportation costs is bullshit though. Most people don’t HAVE to drive so if it costs someone extra to fill up their tank, whatever, but there are a lot of people who depend on public transport to get to work. And those are the people that it will hurt the most in the wallet.

  2. smilrad on May 9th, 2008 @ 2:09 pm

    It won’t just stop there, though. I recently heard that SF will eventually be converting to "smart meters," which will be networked and controlled by DPT to adjust the meter rates based on the time of day. As part of this upgrade, all the parking spaces/meters in the city will be on a sort of GPS system. If you have the software installed with your GPS, you can see which parking spots are available instead of driving around looking for an open spot. Now THIS is a good thing since it will reduce emissions, traffic, SF road rage, and the necessity to listen to Jon Miller announce yet another Giants 1-run loss.

    However–and this part only exposes my personal Orwellian paranoia–the next step would be jacking the meter maids into this combined system and alerting them when a meter is expired, yet the space is still occupied. Watch how fast parking fine revenue ramps up after that!

  3. garphynk on May 9th, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

    so if the city raises the cost of muni fares, what will they do in return? because right now, the muni service has way too many problems to warrant such a price hike… customer service, it’s core reason for existing, being at the top of the list.

    Humor me here, but when I get on a bus, more people sneak in the back door for a free ride while I have to fork over my dollar fifty. So how will they prevent that, and why should I pay extra if I can just become a moocher and ride for nada. And don’t get me started on their schedule, whoever dreamed that up should be shot with their own excrement. Let’s not mention over crowding, no ventilation, bad driving.

    I know this is only a portion of your article Rich, but it sums up this attitude that residents should pay more for the privilege for living in San Francisco. Basically we are being punished for living here… we are agreeing to being buggered by our own city officials… while still saying how great it is to live here.

    I agree that something needs to be done to offset usage of cars downtown, tax cars being driven into the downtown area during business hours, like London… but don’t penalize people outside their own homes for missing a street cleaning… I mean, yes they should pay a fine, but $50?

  4. Richard Ault (richard) on May 9th, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

    Yeah, I’m with these points… We are punishing everyone, not just the lower income residents at this point. It’s true, in most cases people have the option to drive. If things get worse for the drivers in this town and it gets people focused on the alternatives, e.g. bikes or public transit and those get IMPROVED, then that would be a good outcome. Otherwise this is bullshit, straight up.

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