Parking & Curb Management

The availability and cost of parking influence how millions of residents and workers decide to get around the Bay Area, including how much they drive. MTC provides technical assistance and grants to help local governments update parking and curb policies and implement programs to achieve local and regional goals.

Photo by Mike Jensen

Local parking policies have a major impact on communities and the environment, and play a role in the cost of housing and commercial development and how land is used.

MTC is helping local governments plan for current and future parking needs that are balanced against other demands and uses, such as housing, transit and bike lanes, goods delivery and parklets.

Better Parking Policies

To make sure cities and counties have parking policies that better align with environmental, social and equity priorities, MTC supports local governments as they create policies and programs to better manage the supply and demand for parking by:

2022 Local Parking Management Grant Program

MTC is soliciting project proposals from local governments interested in grant funding to implement local parking management programs. The Local Parking Management Grant Program seeks to support parking projects that help implement Plan Bay Area 2050 strategies by managing parking and driving demand to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and address other regional issues, such as health, safety, congestion, development cost and affordability, while advancing equitable outcomes.

Parking management programs include, but are not limited to:

  • Performance or demand-based pricing
  • Shared parking facility management
  • Parking benefit districts
  • Curb management
  • Employee parking and transportation demand management (TDM)
  • Other strategies to mitigate potential spillover impacts of reduced parking development

These strategies and others are described in MTC’s Parking Policy Playbook, an implementation guidebook for parking policies and parking management programs.

Grant Program Key information

  • Project Types – Projects must help implement parking and curb management strategies to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions and other co-benefits. Projects can include acquisition of equipment, software, data, services and other capital expenses that support parking or curb management in alignment with the program goals.
  • Anticipated Grant Amounts (Pending Approval) – $9M for grants between $250k and $1.5M each, with a minimum 11.47% match required
  • Eligible Sponsors – Public agencies eligible to receive federal aid funding (e.g., cities, counties, county transportation authorities and transit agencies)
  • Application Process – Eligible sponsors should complete an online Letter of Interest (LOI) form (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ParkingMgmtLOI) by September 14, 2022. Following review, select projects will be invited to submit expanded applications to be considered for grant awards
  • Informational MeetingWatch the recording of the meeting about the grant program.
  • More information is available below.

Grant Program Details

Grant Program Goals

The goals of the Local Parking Management Grant Program are to manage parking and driving demand to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and address other regional issues, such as health, safety, congestion, development cost and affordability, while advancing equitable outcomes. The program seeks to support local governments in implementing sustainable parking and curb management approaches that increase affordable and safe access to destinations and balance parking and curb uses to improve health and safety. Additionally, the program seeks to identify effective parking management solutions that can be scaled or replicated in areas across the region.

Eligible Project Types & Examples

Eligible project sponsors (see Eligible Project Sponsors section below) are encouraged to submit project proposals to implement parking and curb management programs that will:

  • Encourage more efficient use of parking and on-street space to ac¬commodate and equitably balance demand for parking, active and shared mobility, delivery, and other uses
  • Align with reduced parking development requirements and a right-sized parking supply to increase more affordable residential and commercial development
  • Help achieve the Local Parking Management Grant Program goals

Examples of projects that may be eligible include (but are not limited to):

  • Collect and analyze parking inventory and parking and curb utilization data
  • Develop program to manage shared parking facilities or set up an enterprise fund for parking district improvements
  • Pilot a zone for both residential parking permits and metered pricing
  • Install sensors, meters and signage to implement dynamic pricing or flex curbs
  • Pilot approach to manage passenger or delivery pick-up and drop-off at the curb
  • Procure parking management software or service and purchase and install equipment
  • Procure parking and curb policy enforcement equipment or service

Project can include the acquisition (and installation) of equipment, software, data, services and other expenses that support the project and are in alignment with the program goals. Examples include:

  • Smart parking meters
  • Data collection equipment to manage parking management system (e.g., sensors, handheld tablets)
  • Enforcement tools (e.g., license plate recognition equipment, handheld hardware)
  • Parking management and reporting software or service
  • Parking access and revenue control systems (PARCS) and signage
  • Active or shared transportation options (e.g., scooter, bike, carshare, transit) in place of vehicle parking

Planning projects are not eligible. Planning work can be a supporting component, but not the primary activity. Other eligibility restrictions may apply (see sections below) and will be determined in the review of Stage 1 submittals (see the Application Process section below).

Eligible Project Sponsors

Eligible sponsors are those authorized to receive Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) federal aid funds (including cities, counties, transit agencies and county transportation agencies). Sponsors must also have a demonstrated ability to meet timely use of funds deadlines and requirements.

Anticipated Funding & Programming Requirements

Grant funding available for this program is anticipated to be up to $9 million, with potential funding for additional projects. Note: the funding and programming information below is pending final program approval.

  • Minimum grant: $250,000
  • Maximum grant: $1,500,000
  • Minimum match requirements: 11.47% of total project cost. Matching funds must be non-federal funds
  • Unless otherwise noted within these guidelines, OBAG 2 General Programming Policies (see MTC Resolution No. 4202), and Regional Project Funding Delivery Policy (MTC Resolution No. 3606) apply. Project delivery and monitoring must be in compliance with the MTC Regional Project Delivery Policy
  • Funds must be authorized in a federal E-76 and obligated by January 31, 2024

The anticipated source for these competitive grants is federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) or Surface Transportation Block Grant (STBG) Program funds. All projects must meet CMAQ or STBG eligibility and requirements. Federal grant source will be determined by MTC based on funding availability and project eligibility.

Following grant awards, project sponsors must apply to Caltrans Local Assistance and comply with federal aid requirements before incurring any project costs eligible for reimbursement. Projects must follow federal procurement rules, including a competitive bid process. For more information on these requirements:

Minimum Requirements & Desired Qualifications

Minimum Requirements:

Desired Qualifications:

  • Project or program is identified in a parking management plan or other locally adopted plan in alignment with Plan Bay Area 2050
  • Link to transportation demand management (TDM) policies or programs and meaningful access to mobility options besides driving alone
  • Advances equitable outcomes
  • Evidence of project readiness and support
  • Demonstrates an opportunity or approach to scale or replicate parking management solutions in line with regional goals in different settings across the region

Application Process

Applications and selection will happen in two stages. All eligible project sponsors (see above) are welcome to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) in Stage 1. Upon screening and evaluation, some or all of the project sponsors will be invited to submit an expanded application in Stage 2 to be considered for grant award recommendation.

Stage One

All interested applicants must submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) through the online form. The LOI must include: project sponsor contact information, project description, funding estimates, and a description of project readiness.

The proposed projects will be screened for eligibility. An evaluation panel will review all screened LOIs and contact applicants, as needed, for additional information and clarification. See Evaluation Process below. The evaluation panel will then invite some or all of the applicants to submit a more detailed proposal in Stage 2 for further evaluation.

Stage Two

Applicants invited to Stage 2 will provide more detailed project proposal information, including a scope of work, schedule, budget, risk assessment and performance tracking process. A key element of this application will be for project sponsors to respond to questions and comments from the evaluation panel’s review in Stage 1.

The evaluation panel will evaluate the applications and contact applicants, as needed, for additional information and clarification. Based on the results of the evaluation, MTC staff will make recommendations for grant awards to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation panel will evaluate proposals in Stage 1 and Stage 2 using a qualitative rating system against the following anticipated evaluation criteria:

  • Potential for GHG emission reductions and other benefits towards regional goals (e.g., equity, health, safety, mobility and congestion benefits) (30%)
  • Quality of proposal, including explanation of need, evaluation approach and appropriate scope and budget (25%)
  • Readiness, including indications of local support and capability of the project partners to implement the projects and assessment and mitigation of risks (25%)
  • Local match percentage of total project cost (10%)
  • Advancing equitable outcomes (5%)
  • Scalability or replicability (5%)

Grant Program Timeline

Activity Date (Subject to Change)
Call for Letters of Interest Issued July 28, 2022
Grant Program Information Meeting (View the recording) August 9, 2022, 2-3 p.m.
Deadline for Stage 1 Letter of Interest (LOI) Submissions September 14, 2022
Stage 1 LOI Review and Invitation for Select Applicants to Submit Stage 2 Proposal September-October 2022
Stage 2 Proposal Submissions from Select Applicants October-November 2022
Stage 2 Proposal Review November-December 2022
Project Award Recommendations Winter 2022-2023
MTC Commission Grant Award Approval Winter 2022-2023
MTC Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Amendment to Approve Federal Funding TBD
Deadline for Funds to be Obligated by Project Sponsors January 31, 2024

Grant Program Staff Contact

James Choe, Climate Program Manager
Email: jchoe@bayareametro.gov

The High Cost of Parking

While often offered for free to drivers, parking and the cars associated with using it impose many costs on everyone. Parking is associated with higher rates of driving — and increased emissions, traffic, and safety impacts that come along with more cars on the road.

Parking is also expensive to provide, typically costing tens of thousands of dollars per parking spot. These costs are passed along to owners and tenants of developments with parking facilities, typically whether or not they own cars.

Additionally, parking takes up valuable space and money that could be used for other critical needs in the region, including for affordable housing. Policies that require the overdevelopment of parking disproportionately impact lower-income residents — they tend to own fewer cars, but often still have to pay these costs.

Parking Policy Toolkits

MTC developed a Smart Parking Handbook to help local governments better manage parking supply and demand in their jurisdictions. The Handbook describes different types of parking policies, local examples and where and how to implement them.

MTC is developing a new toolkit to update the guidance and examples, and to provide targeted resources that will support the implementation of new and updated parking policies. These resources will be accompanied by workshops and other education opportunities.

Value Pricing Pilot

In 2014, MTC led a two-year Value Pricing Pilot to critically assess the relationship between parking pricing, policies, and supply and demand in 25 locations around the Bay Area. The case studies, academic research, policy analysis and data analysis revealed these key findings:

  • Most locations studied have a lot of unused parking, even during peak-use periods
  • Many locations don't have pricing policies that effectively balance parking demand across the neighborhood
  • There is a lack of coordination in pricing between on-street and off-street parking
  • Many parking requirements are not closely aligned with demand of the local population
  • When transit projects include parking garages, alternate transportation modes, and the related cost and effectiveness of pricing are often overlooked
  • Employee programs that charge for parking are most effective in reducing driving
  • Regional parking policies can support the Sustainable Communities Strategy as part of the state-mandated regional transportation plan, called Plan Bay Area