Via one of my classmates, and the NPR Planet Money blog, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority has started testing demand pricing for parking spaces:
The system will use electronic sensors to measure real-time demand for parking spaces, and adjust prices accordingly. When there are lots of empty spaces, it will be cheap to park. When spaces are hard to find, rates will be higher.
The range in prices will be huge: from 25 cents an hour to a maximum of $6 an hour, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority.
Eventually, drivers will be able to find open parking spaces by going online, checking their mobile phones or reading for new electronic signs that will be posted throughout the city.
That's how to run a parking system. Not, as some might suspect, by leasing all the meters to a for-profit company which immediately raises prices to the point where people don't park on some streets at all any more.