Parking and Transportation Planning
The Public Works Transportation Planning team strives to provide safe, convenient, and affordable transportation options for accessing places and opportunities in San Mateo. Our work encompasses all modes of transportation including personal and commercial vehicles, transit, bicycles, pedestrians as well as electric bikes and electric scooters. Through our short and long-term projects, we aim to encourage people of all ages and abilities to use sustainable modes of transportation.
Downtown Parking Permits
Monthly downtown parking permits and low-income parking permits are available for all-day parking in a Downtown City-owned parking facility. Parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis and does not guarantee the permit holder a parking space. Visit the Monthly Downtown Parking Permit page or our Low-Income Permit Program page to apply and for more information.
City-Owned Parking Facilities
Our Downtown has seven City-owned parking garages and lots available to all downtown patrons. Visit the City-Owned Parking Facilities webpage for locations, parking rates, and amenities offered at each parking facility.
Parking On the Street
On-street parking in the Downtown area is separated into two parking zones, Central and
Perimeter, to accommodate short and long-term parking needs. Visit the
Downtown On-Street Parking webpage for information about parking spaces on the street,
motorcycle parking, and pay station instructions.
Residential parking permits are issued for residents in neighborhoods whose parking is impacted by local traffic generators such as high schools, hospitals, and businesses.
The Residential Parking Permit Program aims at discouraging overflow parking on to residential streets. Residents must live in a parking permit program area to qualify for a residential parking permit. Households are limited to one parking permit per licensed driver.
View the Residential Parking Permit Program page to apply and for more information.
Downtown San Mateo is a fun and exciting place to live, work, and play. The area offers great neighborhoods and schools, outstanding libraries and parks, and some of the best shopping and restaurants in the Peninsula. Visit the Downtown San Mateo Association (DSMA) website to discover all downtown has to offer.
Downtown is easily accessible by public transit. Conveniently located downtown on First and Railroad Avenue, the San Mateo Caltrain Station is served by local-stop, limited-stop, and baby bullet trains. A number of SamTrans bus routes also serve the downtown, including local routes 53, 55, 59, 250, and 295 and express routes 292, 397, and ECR.
Approximately 3,000 paid public parking spaces are provided to allow Downtown customers to enjoy their time in San Mateo. The City-Owned Parking Facilities page provides a complete list of city-owned parking facilities as well as their location, cost, and amenities offered, such as electric vehicle chargers and/or mobile payment. Visit the Downtown On-Street Parking page for on-street parking costs, instructions on how to use our pay stations, and motorcycle parking locations.
Find the best route to get to your destination using the bike routes map. Single-rider bicycles are allowed on Caltrain trains and SamTrans buses for free. Familiarize yourself with how to use public transit with your bike and make traveling to San Mateo easy. All Caltrain stations in San Mateo offer electronic bicycle lockers for long-term parking. Be sure to purchase a BikeLink Card beforehand at www.BikeLink.org to activate a locker.
In addition, San Mateo offers five bicycle repair stations that are available for the public to use for FREE. Each station includes tools to perform basic bike repairs and maintenance, such as a flat tire or adjusting brakes. Look for our repair stations at the following locations or use this interactive map to help find them.
- San Mateo City Hall (330 W. 20th Ave.)- Adjacent to the bike racks on O’Farrell Street
- San Mateo Caltrain Station (385 First Ave.) – Next to the Transit Center parking lot entrance
- San Mateo Main Library (55 W. Third Ave.) – In front of the bike racks
- Paddock Park (2900 Baze Road) – In front of the restrooms
- Ryder Court Park (1625 J. Hart Clinton Drive) – Next to the restrooms
Report damages or missing tools to Public Works at (650) 522-7300.
Note: This is a pilot project. Repair stations are currently undergoing an assessment to determine if relocation is necessary. Existing locations were chosen based on City staff recommendations and a community survey hosted on the City’s website.
Transportation Policies, Programs, & Events
- Shared Mobility Permit Program (adopted May 2019) - Shared mobility operators can apply for a permit to deploy shared mobility devices in San Mateo.
- Residential On-Street Accessible Parking Spaces Program (updated July 2019) - Residents with a disabled person placard or license plate can apply for an on-street accessible parking space in residential areas when no reasonable off-street parking option is available.
- Family Fun Ride and Bike Rodeo - An annual event where we teach youth how to ride safely in the streets.
- Rolled Curb Parking - Educate yourself and others on how to properly park at a rolled curb.
- Oversized Vehicle Parking - Find out what vehicles are considered oversized in San Mateo.
- San Mateo Rail Corridor Transportation Management Association (TMA) - Annual vehicle trip monitoring reports are available for 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015.
For questions about parking in San Mateo, email the Transportation Planning team.
For assistance with Downtown Parking Permit accounts, call Parkmobile at 1-855-768-4152.
For parking enforcement inquiries, call (650) 398-3082 or email SMEnforcement@lazparking.com.
Receive Updates on Transportation Projects
- Bicycle Master Plan 2020
- Pedestrian Master Plan (2012)
- Transportation Impact Analysis Guidelines (2020)
- General Plan Circulation Element (Section G)
- Sustainable Streets Plan (2015) Related Documents: Sustainable Streets Design Guidelines, Sustainable Streets Plan Appendices
- Sustainable Initiative Plan (2007)
- Hillsdale Station Integration Plan (2012)