Using a credit card at San Francisco parking meters will soon cost extra

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - It's not cheap to park your car in San Francisco, and soon it will cost a little more for those who feed the meter with a credit card.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has approved a 27-cent surcharge for each credit card transaction. The change will go into effect in 30 days.

Emerson Cruz works as a delivery driver in the city. "I use about 10 meters a day," said Cruz.

He was upset to learn about the new surcharge.

"Especially for people who deliver or stuff like that - that's 27 cents each time you use the machine unless you have a bag of coins to put in your car," said Cruz. "It's ridiculous."

Others called it a frustrating sign of the times -- the cost of city living getting just a little more out of reach.

"Especially the housing and everything else -- the food, the clothes, everything -- it's getting up there you know," said Alex Espiritu, a San Francisco native. "People are really trying to survive."

"Every little bit counts. I'm a single mom struggling, and so I'm not too happy about that," said Jayme Broadway, who said she's in the process of moving back to the Bay Area from Pollock Pines.

Yet others said they like the fact that parking is becoming more expensive as it may encourage more people to use public transportation.

As for why the increase is happening, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the city finished upgrading its meters earlier this year, and now all 30,000 meters can accept credit cards.

"So now we have to pay a transaction fee for each transaction for a meter. So that would impact our operating budget by $47.7 million over nine years," said Rose. "So we have to find a way to pay that to provide this option for people who want to park in San Francisco.

Rose said the surcharge won't create additional revenue, and if people want to avoid paying it, they can use parking cards or coins. He added that the option to use the Pay-by-Phone app will dropping from 45 cents to 27 cents per transaction.

Current parking meter rates range from 25 cents to $6 an hour, and more for special event parking, said Rose.