How to pay for parking


Our CCA class just finished a “user experience audit” of BART and found dozens of aspects of the whole experience that are sub-optimal. I’ll add this one (although maybe one of them saw this as well).

Step 1 – remember your stall number.

Too bad this sign is posted in the ticket-buying area of the station, far far away from your car off in the parking lot. It should read Go back to your car, dumbass, and write down the four digit number and then come back here and look at step 2. Their guidance is not presented at a useful point in the process, at all.

Last week I dialed my cell phone with my 4-digit parking code so that I could “remember” it. There’s one machine for buying tickets, and then through the turnstiles is the next machine for paying for parking (“the paid area”). So even if you walk from your car muttering 3214 over and over again, you still have to use a number-heavy interface to select the value of your ticket, enter your ATM password and so on, and that’s likely to wipe out your short-term memory.

But I only learned this from failure. All of which makes this sign so unhelpful.


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