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PARCS: Safer, Easier Payments Coming to City-Owned Parking Garages

Monday, May 22, 2017

A man uses a touch screen for the new parking garage payment system.
New parking payment systems allow customers to use Apple Pay and provide on-screen instructions in multiple languages.

We’re excited to introduce new 21st-century technology at city-owned parking facilities to enhance the customer experience. The new Parking Access Revenue Control Systems (PARCS) will make exiting faster, improve customer service and provide enhanced credit card security. The Polk-Bush Garage is the first to completely receive these state-of-the-art upgrades, which will be completed by 2019.

PARCS is a combination of hardware and software that provides the infrastructure to run a parking facility. This operational investment in the city’s infrastructure will make for a smoother experience for city drivers.

The goal is to provide clean, safe and convenient parking to visitors, employees and business customers in downtown and other commercial and residential districts.

A parking garage entrance ramp with a license plate-detecting camera and several staff members at pay stations alongside the ramp.
A look at the entrance to the Polk-Bush garage. The new system can resolve lost tickets with a license plate recognition system.

PARCS will make parking in city-owned garages:

  • Hassle-free: A license plate recognition system will resolve issues with lost tickets, and pre-payment at all city-owned garages will help prevent long queues from forming during rush hour.
  • Safer: The new payment system will reduce fraud and allow for improved auditing and credit card security, accept chip-enabled credit or debit cards. As part of the upgrades, some garages will also get an alarm system flashing lights to alert pedestrians when a vehicle exits.
  • Cost-Efficient: SFMTA's smart, dynamic pricing strategy encourages drivers to use garage spaces first and reserve street parking for shorter stays. That helps keep parking rates in city-owned garages at 50 to 60 percent less than private garages.

For more information, including a map of city-owned parking garages set to receive PARCS upgrades, check out our PARCS webpage.