Cost of doing Business......


Well-Known Member
Parking tickets by the truckload

18 S.friend. businesses rack up thousands of citations, pay city on monthly plan

Rachel Gordon, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, February 24, 2007

International courier UPS receives an average of more than one San Francisco parking ticket every hour, giving the company the unenviable distinction of being the city's No. 1 parking violator.
Last year, United Parcel Service paid $673,334 in fines for 11,788 tickets -- an average of one ticket every 45 minutes throughout the year.
The company is not alone. Eighteen companies have special accounts with the city to pay off parking tickets in bulk. Together, they racked up 27,395 tickets and paid more than $1.5 million in fines for the fiscal year that ended June 30.
McMillan Electric Co. contributed $74,375 toward the total. The family-owned San Francisco firm, which does most of its business downtown, received 1,497 tickets over the year.
"It's a business decision,'' company president Pat McMillan said. "Is it cheaper to pay the ticket, or is it cheaper to pay the guys working for me to spend time looking for a legal parking space?"
McMillan pays his workers about $80 an hour and said risking a parking ticket often wins out. "I don't like it, but we've got a job to do, and we have to get our guys in there to work."
San Francisco, which issues about 1.9 million parking citations a year and collects about $85 million in fines, began its corporate program in 1998. The intent was twofold: help companies doing regular business in San Francisco manage their tickets, and streamline the collection process, said Maggie Lynch, spokeswoman for the Municipal Transportation Agency. The agency runs the city's parking enforcement operation.
Companies can enroll if they have at least 20 vehicles that park on city streets and if they have what Lynch described as "a history of citations." The participating firms are billed monthly and cannot protest the tickets. In return, they avoid late fees and having their vehicles clamped with immobilizing boots when a vehicle accrues five or more parking tickets.
"Drivers used to hide their citations from management, so companies would not know of a problem until vehicles were booted or towed," Lynch said.
Most of the companies' tickets are written for parking meter violations, which carry a $50 fine in the downtown corridor. Next are violations for double parking, the fine for which is $65 or $100, depending on the street. Double-parkers have been blamed, in part, for slowing city buses.
Delivery companies enrolled in the program are the biggest parking violators, accruing almost $1.3 million in fines.
Gabe Gonzalez, who delivers for FedEx in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, double-parked his rig on Bryant Street on Friday morning -- and there wasn't a parking control officer in sight. He's not always so lucky.
"I get tickets all the time, probably three or four a week," said Gonzalez, who has 10 years on the job.
Most of his tickets are for double parking. On the Bryant Street run, a passenger car was parked in front of the building where Gonzalez was making a delivery. There were a number of empty metered spaces on the block, but Gonzalez said it would have taken too much time to squeeze his truck into one of them.
"I know they're doing their job,'' he said of the ticket writers. "But I'm doing my job, too. If we had to drive around looking for parking, we wouldn't get our job done."
And that's why bosses who pay the fines don't get too riled when their employees come back to the office at the end of their shifts with parking citations.
"This is part of the price of doing business," said Jim McCluskey, a spokesman for FedEx, which paid San Francisco $434,046 for 7,711 tickets last year. "We encourage our operators to park legally, but we also need to meet the needs of our customers who want reliable, on-time service."
Dan McMackin, a spokesman for UPS, agreed. He said drivers face similar parking problems in Los Angeles, Washington, Boston, Chicago and New York City.
Neither UPS, based in Atlanta, nor FedEx, based in Memphis, keeps a tally of how much it spends nationally on parking fines, according to their spokesmen. But the tab is big: In New York City alone, UPS paid $18.7 million and FedEx paid $8.2 million during the 2005-06 fiscal year.
San Francisco UPS driver John Rodriguez, who said he gets a ticket about every six weeks, had good parking karma Friday morning when he parked on Zoe Street, an alley in the South of Market district.
Half of his delivery truck was parked in the street -- in a tow-away zone -- and the other half was up on the sidewalk. He said he never parks in bus zones or spaces set aside for the disabled. But Rodriguez, who makes 85 to 100 stops a day in the congested neighborhood, has no such rule for double-parking.
"You try to find (legal) parking the best you can," he said, "but sometimes it just isn't there. You do what you have to do."
By the numbers
1.9 million
Approximate number of parking citations San Francisco issues each year.
$85 million
Approximate amount of fines collected.
Number of tickets issued to companies in the city's bulk-ticket program.
$1.5 million
Approximate amount these companies paid in fines.
Paying in bulk
The top five companies enrolled in San Francisco's bulk-payment parking ticket program:
-- UPS: 11,788 tickets, $673,334 in fines
-- FedEx: 7,711 tickets, $434,046 in fines
-- Airborne Express: 2,581 tickets, $140,845 in fines
-- McMillan Electric Co.: 1,497 tickets, $74,375
-- Comcast: 1,067 tickets, $51,230
Note: All data from 2005-06 fiscal year. Source: San Francisco Municipal

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle


Well-Known Member
Maybe it's just this city, but we have little stickers on our windows that allow us to park virtually anywhere. Of course UPS has to pay for these stickers but they prevent us from getting parking tickets. Too bad these stickers are not available in every city.

Just this past week I was parked in a fire lane, right behind me was a FedEx truck and behind that was a Purolator (a Canadian Courier) truck. Just outside of the fire lane, a cop was sitting in his car. None of us got a ticket.


Well-Known Member
If these cops were a part of the neighborhood this wouldn't happen, but they have no idea how much the businesses rely on these deliveries, nor do they understand how much work is involved getting all these businesses served morning and afternoon. It's just a way to make revenue for their next pay raise.


Well-Known Member
I deliver to a outside type shopping center thats probably the busiest one in town by far and has at least 50 shops. Way to many yuppys but I just tell them hey sorry without these deliveries there would be no product in the store you shop.


Part-Time'er for Life!
One of the things I most love about the job is that you can park almost anywhere you want and no one says anything. Well, hardly anyone.

I love that too! If someone gets bent out of shape because I parked behind them, I just tell them that I'll be back in less than a minute.......Unlike the FedEx or DHL guys :lol:


Last year, United Parcel Service paid $673,334 in fines for 11,788 tickets -- an average of one ticket every 45 minutes throughout the year.

But the tab is big: In New York City alone, UPS paid $18.7 million and FedEx paid $8.2 million during the 2005-06 fiscal year.

both taken from the same article...I believe the first one
would be more realistic.


Well-Known Member
I let the cops in the neighborhood write me a ticket... they meet their quota and they don't break balls when i make illegal u-turns or park on the wrong side of the road when I do a stop.