The Economic and Environmental Impacts of Smart-parking Programs

There is little empirical work on the economic and environmental impacts of parking management policies in the United Sates (U.S.). This is largely due to scarce data on parking, including information on types of parking management policies for on- and off-street parking throughout a city. However, recently, cities and mobile applications have begun to leverage sensors and collect parking data. One of the more prominent programs to implement and utilize this relatively new technology is SFpark in San Francisco (SF). The purpose of SFpark is to use demand-responsive pricing to improve parking availability by updating metered and garage prices based off information on parking occupancy. The goal of this research proposal is to understand the relationships among economic and environmental outcomes resulting from SFpark using regression analysis, and of particular interest are three aspects of SFpark: 1) increasing parking availability (a priority goal of SFpark), 2) utilizing variable-priced parking, and 3) implementing metered parking in areas where or during times when it was not used before. Specific outcomes of interest that will be examined include air pollution, sales tax revenue, property values, congestion and consumption of public transportation. SFpark has encouraged an open data policy and, consequently, data such as a parking census of all on- and off-street parking in SF, as well as updated price rate adjustments and occupancy rates for SFpark areas are publicly available. Although SFpark conducted its own evaluation of the program, an acknowledged problem of their pilot study was the inability to account for confounding variables. Additionally, the pilot study did not estimate the relationship between parking prices and specific outcomes of interest, which is important when considering the impacts of changing metered parking prices by $0.25, for example. As a result, this study will build upon their work and the small existing literature in a few important ways by using a unique, highly detailed dataset and rigorous econometric techniques. Although, this research proposal focuses on SF, it is expected that smart parking programs will become more common in cities as they seek more efficient, sustainable solutions to confront problems of increasing urban growth and population density. Understanding the economic and environmental impacts of these programs is an important first step for policymakers and practitioners.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $ 85,973
  • Contract Numbers:

    NITC 870

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Oregon, Eugene

    Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, 119 Hendricks Hall
    Eugene, OR  United States  97403-1209

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    TREC at Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 175
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Project Managers:

    Hagedorn, Hau

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Oregon, Eugene

    Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, 119 Hendricks Hall
    Eugene, OR  United States  97403-1209
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ngo, Nicole

  • Start Date: 20150801
  • Expected Completion Date: 20170630
  • Actual Completion Date: 20170901
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01607753
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC 870
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 18 2016 4:08PM