5 best parking apps for San Francisco lots and garages

5 best parking apps for San Francisco lots and garages

There aren’t enough bad words in the English language to describe how it feels to look for public parking in San Francisco.

A recent study by transportation analyst INRIX named San Francisco among the top five cities in America with the toughest parking experience. According to the report, we as motorists spend about 17 hours a year searching for spots on streets, in lots or garages.

All that searching adds up to an estimated $345 each in wasted time, fuel and emissions. We often pay too much because we over-estimate how long we need to park or pay extra to avoid getting a parking ticket, the study says.

What if there was a way to reduce some of this waste and suffering? We’re not talking about a personal helicopter, thought that would be nice. Parking mobile apps may help. They popped up in app stores a few years ago, and some are better than others to help you reserve and pre-purchase your spot, often at a discounted rate. Here are five parking apps to try.

Parking Panda

This app allows you to pre-book an hourly spot and offers real-time updates on spots as they become available within a particular block. Icons let you know whether the garage or lot (including those affiliated with sports leagues and stadiums) is covered, handicap accessible and whether has valet service, electric charging stations and staff on site. Depending on the neighborhood, hourly rates start as low as $12. Airport parking available too. Get the app here.

Spot Hero

Similar to (and affiliated with) Parking Panda, this app lets you book parking spots by the month as well as by the hour. Just plug in your street location or venue — the California Academy of Sciences, for instance — and find a slew of lots and garages starting at $245 a month. The website promotes discounts of up to 50 percent, and also tells you whether the garage offers unlimited in and out privileges.

Parker

This app promises no more circling. You can access rates, hours, occupancy and addresses in real time and get voice guidance for nearby parking. Allows you to filter parking by permit type (student, disabled, electric vehicle) and remembers your parking location, with walking directions back to your car. Download it here.

Best Parking

Effective this month, Best Parking has updated its app with new features, including faster search — it’s no longer necessary to type “San Francisco,” just the street address, like you do in GPS — and self-serve receipts for expensing. They’ve also eliminated their $5 reservation fee. Running behind? Cancel your reservation any time up until your parking start time.

Park Me

This app works much the same as the others, allowing you to reserve and pay for a parking spot in a lot, garage or on the street, when available close to your destination. Park Me also features a parking timer to help you avoid overstaying, overpaying or — gasp — getting a parking ticket.

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Published at Mon, 23 Jul 2018 14:38:42 +0000