Even the city owned garages have odd prices. Now they charge more for times when parking is in high demand, but gives a nice lower price during less demand.
I've had an interesting experience today when I had to go to a dental appointment this morning in Japantown:
Since my appointment was at 9AM, I arrived too early in the neighborhood, so I parked in a parking space just across the street from the dental office. The meter said starting at 9AM, the parking fee would be $2 per hour.
Since I had some time to burn, I got back in my car since it was cold and played around with the SFpark iPhone application. It was correct that the parking would be $2 an hour, so I toyed around with the application to see how much it would cost to park somewhere further.
Around the corner from where I parked, the 9AM price was $1.50 an hour. Not bad for a small 50 cent savings, but how about on Geary Boulevard? I found out the parking on Geary Boulevard is just 25 CENTS PER HOUR from 9AM to noon. What a heck of a bargain and it was just an extra couple of minutes walk from where I was currently parked.
Really? Just 25 cents? That's a huge difference than on Post Street where it would have cost me $2 a hour.
Also, one of the perks of parking at one of those smart looking meters is I can pre-pay the meter. Since my appointment was at 9AM, I put 50 cents in the meter for two hours at 8:45AM, and the meter won't deduct the money until 9AM, therefore the meter would expire at 11AM.
I highly suggest purchasing a SFMTA Parking Card. It's accepted at all city parking meters, and it's better than a credit card because not all city meters accepts Visa or MasterCard.