IT Innovation Contest

A team-based contest for creative IT solutions

Adding convenience to parking with ParkClip UCSF

Proposal Status: 

Background: Convenience in accessing peripherals such as on-site parking may contribute to user satisfaction. Hospitals offering a parking program that suits patient, family and staff needs for convenience may have advantages in a competitive healthcare marketplace (Rich & Burr, 2003). Many UCSF campus initiatives target green/sustainable practices (UCSF Office of Sustainability, 2010), including decreased use of personal vehicles. However, the use of personal vehicles remains the most practical transit solution for many patients, families and visitors. Enhancing  convenience for these users may prove advantageous in terms of patient satisfaction with overall campus services.

Project description: A simple approach to increasing convenience for those relying on the UCSF parking facilities is an automatic payment deducting system similar in concept to the Clipper Card® developed by SF Bay Area BART/Muni (Wikipedia Foundation Inc., 2012). This system could target casual and day users of the UCSF parking facilities, who would preload the card to speed access in and out of parking facilities. The proposed deliverable: ParkClip UCSF would automatically deduct payments using a reloadable card with similar magnet-technology design. The potential advantages for UCSF include reduced costs (e.g. reduced credit charges for occasional users) and decreased paper ticketing; it may also generate improved parking facility use data campus-wide. Selective discounts and incentives could be incorporated, such as preloaded cards provided to regular weekly clinic patients or access to certain areas of parking facilities otherwise restricted.

The existing parking system includes card access (“Cardtrols”) for subscribed monthly users, and it is likely that this system could be expanded to develop ParkClip UCSF reader stations campus-wide.  It is also possible that other current automatic systems (e.g. FastPay/FreedomPay) could be expanded without necessitating access to UCSF ID badges.  Patrons could access kiosks to preload the ParkClip UCSF cards or access online prepayment.

We are currently seeking collaboration especially from UCSF Parking Facilities or Patient Services

Impact on UCSF’s mission and/or community: While the ideal solution for campus access would include reduced reliance on parking facilities, in reality parking access is a practical necessity for many who use the UCSF campuses. Enhancing convenience with current parking options is consistent with the UCSF missions as more timely and convenient access to care may be supported, which will likely improve satisfaction.

Team members and roles: (currently seeking collaborators)

  • Annette Carley, UCSF School of Nursing, Project Director
  • Christina Baggott, UCSF School of Nursing, Project Collaborator



Enhancing the patient experience would certainly benefit UCSF. However, I think the users most likely to adopt the system are casual users who are visiting frequently (several closely spaced appointments, family member/friend with extended inpatient stay), so I wonder about the cost/benefit. Most patients will have their credit card with them, but would they remember to bring/find their UCSF ParkClip card? There is a mechanism for discounted parking (various hour parking stickers) but certainly an electronic solution would be more flexible.

Thanks for your comment. My understanding of the discounted stickers is that they need to be ordered which limits their usefulness for quick turnaround. A card would most appeal to those with multiple but short appointments who are low-ticket credit card users I'd suspect...and those wishing for an alternative to the paper tickets.

Many patients and family members may not know how often they need to return, which might inhibit them from investing in a prepaid UCSF parking card. Which populations might benefit the most from these cards?

Thank you for the comment. You are likely very correct about the unknown return hence unknown need for many patients/families. This would best target those who did have regular but short-term needs and especially those desiring to get away from paper ticketing.

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