628 area code approved for San Francisco-Marin region

Getty Images file photo | Clip artIn 13 months

San Francisco resisted an area code change, but in the end new phone numbers will no longer come with the 66-year-old 415 prefix. Get ready for 628.

“Everyone loves 415,” said Christine Falvey, Mayor Ed Lee’s spokeswoman. But she said federal rules required some sort of change.

The City’s Small Business Commission had hoped to persuade state regulatory agency the California Public Utilities Commission to leave San Francisco with 415 only. But on Thursday, the CPUC voted to overlay the 628 area code onto the existing 415 region, which covers San Francisco and Marin counties.

The change is necessary, according to the agency, because by October 2015 all the 415 numbers will be used up.

Lee advocated for the overlay in light of another alternative. “This is a better outcome for San Francisco than the geographic north-south split originally proposed, which would have been very disruptive for our small businesses and residents,” Falvey said.

Some business advocates wanted to change the Marin County area code altogether to free up 415 numbers for San Francisco, which would then in the future have its own unique overlay when it needed more phone numbers.

“It’s about business identity,” said Regina Dick-Endrizzi, executive director of the Office of Small Business, adding that the CPUC decision was “not ideal.”

There is a bright side, Dick-Endrizzi said: Of all the possible three-digit combinations, 628 has an agreeable harmony.

“628 is a little easier to say; it rolls off your tongue,” she said.

Dick-Endrizzi said now that the decision has been made, the business community will adapt.

“San Francisco’s small businesses are capable and innovative, and will likely build a San Francisco brand identity to the 628 area code equal to the 415 area code,” she said.

Just Posted

Chesa Boudin to be sworn in as San Francisco DA in January

District Attorney-elect Chesa Boudin will not be sworn into office until January… Continue reading

After high-profile dismissals, Breed appoints new SFMTA director

Jeffrey Tumlin to lead Muni after sexual harassment scandal, operator shortage

City College to offer classes in the Sunset District

City College of San Francisco is expanding into the Sunset District starting… Continue reading

DA elect joins Breed to denounce attacks against Chinatown seniors

Days after three seniors were brutally attacked on video at a popular… Continue reading

SF takes ‘next step’ to become first in California to launch public bank

City officials plan to cut ties with Wall Street banks

Most Read