Parkers at San Francisco’s International Airport can now use the same transponder they use to cross the city’s bridges and toll roads to pay for their parking. They have been testing it on a few lots at the airport and get about 200 transactions a day. By this week the system will be expanded to all the parking area at SFO. If it becomes popular the concept will be expanded to Oakland and San Jose.
The only comment in the Examiner news story was a fellow who said that now the city will know where everyone goes all the time, not just across the bridges. He said, however he was in favor of the new plan, because it was convenient.
What he probably didn’t know, was that the airport records every car license tag anyway, with its LPR system. Most all major airports do so. Makes it more difficult to swap tickets and ensures that when a parker “loses’ a ticket, the proper amount is charged.
This is the beginning of the end of cash usage at parking lots. Soon (five years) cars will have transponders and they will be linked to your credit card, and queuing for entry tickets or exit payments will be a thing of the past. It may be even reasonable some day to not have gates at all, like on many toll roads.