San Francisco is an expensive city to park in. Even if you can find a space on the street with a meter, you could end up paying as much as $3 per hour for the privilege of parking there. Yet the city only averages $4 per day in collections per meter -- collecting only 22 percent as much revenue as city estimates project.
People not paying -- and not getting caught -- is one reason collections fall short. Another possible explanation, suggests this San Francisco Chronicle story, is the large amount of handicap placards, which allow people to park for free. The city has 23,000 coin-fed meters, while city residents hold 90,000 handicap parking placards, issued by the state.
"While the [Municipal Transportation Agency] supports the legitimate use of disability placards, there's no doubt that they have an effect on our parking meter revenue," Judson True, spokesman for the city's Municipal Transportation Agency, told the paper.