New system aims for faster, safer parking at City garages


San Francisco is in the process of bringing 22 city-owned garages into the 21st century with new technology upgrades that will make it easier and more secure for drivers to pay, transit officials said on Wednesday.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said the new technology includes using a license plate reader system to help with lost parking tickets, expanding payment types to chip-enabled credit and debit cards, and will eventually allow drivers to pre-pay before exiting the garage to prevent long lines from forming.

Transit officials said the new system called PARCS, will also help reduce fraud and provide better credit card security for customers.

Garages located in parts of The City with a high volume of pedestrians will have a flashing light and alarm sound when a vehicle is exiting, the SFMTA said.

The first city-owned parking garage to install the new technology is at the Polk-Bush Garage, located at 1399 Bush St. The rest of the parking garages will get upgraded over the next three years with completion in 2019, transit officials said.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said in a statement:

“Our new PARCS system is making easier payment, quicker entry and exit, and enhanced security a reality at our public parking garages.”

Last April, the SFMTA Board of Directors approved a $19.8 million with Skidata, Inc. to install the new install the new equipment and software at all of 22 city-owned parking garages.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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