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Clipper Card for parking

I regularly ride Muni, BART, and CalTrain. I appreciate that the Clipper Card let’s me easily ride different forms of public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area. The kiosks for loading value could definitely be made less confusing, but generally get the job done.

I want to use my Clipper Card to pay for public parking meters.

The only time that I spend quarters is at parking meters and I never seem to have enough. These transactions take way too long. To be fair, the SFMTA offers other payment options. But do I really want to use PayByPhone? No! That’s way more cumbersome than just tapping my Clipper Card or finding a few quarters. They also have a separate card for parking that is sold at stores and online (but only in $20 and $50 denominations and is not reloadable).

A couple weeks ago, there was a news story about how the few parking meters that accept credit cards are going to start charging additional transaction fees.

Parking shouldn’t be this difficult.

The SFMTA should consolidate these cards and payment options. Given that they are already coordinating with other agencies using the Clipper Card, it seems natural that they should use it as their standard payment method. This would also mean one less IT system to manage, which is something taxpayers should be in favor of.

It’s crazy that we still have people collecting the quarters deposited in parking meters. This should all be done electronically.

I understand that there are often accessibility concerns, especially for people that may not have access to credit cards or regular bank accounts. But fortunately, Clipper Cards can be recharged at major transit hubs and many stores like Walgreens and CVS.

This isn’t unprecedented. In Hong Kong, the Octopus Card can be used for transactions beyond paying for rides. Paying for parking with the Clipper Card will save time and money.

Category Idea