Parking, Transit and Traffic: Evidence From SFpark

CERE Working Paper, 2018:6

53 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018 Last revised: 5 Apr 2019

Date Written: June 20, 2018


Demand-responsive parking pricing programs, in which parking is priced based upon occupancy, are increasingly being used in cities experiencing rapid growth as a way to optimize parking. Despite the potential of demand-responsive parking in minimizing parking-related externalities, there are few empirical estimates regarding the effects of parking management policies, particularly around transit usage and traffics flow. We use data from SFpark, a demand-responsive on-street parking pricing program for the city of San Francisco, along with a rich micro data-set on transit bus usage from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that SFpark is associated with sizable increases in transit bus usage of about 21 and reductions in lane occupancy of 5 percentage points per census block. Our welfare computations suggest economic benefits of $36 million over the duration of the program (2011-2013) resulting from avoided pollution due to increased transit usage and from reduced congestion. These benefits easily exceed the nominal costs of the program. Our results not only suggest that demand-responsive pricing programs achieve their stated goals, but also mitigate many traffic-related externalities, yielding significant welfare benefits.

Keywords: Parking Policy, Transportation, Mass Transit, Air Pollution

JEL Classification: R40, Q50, L91

Suggested Citation

Krishnamurthy, Chandra Kiran B and Ngo, Nicole S., Parking, Transit and Traffic: Evidence From SFpark (June 20, 2018). CERE Working Paper, 2018:6, Available at SSRN:

Chandra Kiran B Krishnamurthy (Contact Author)

CERE, Umeå ( email )

Almas Allé 10
Umeå, 750 07


Nicole S. Ngo

University of Oregon ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

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