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san francisco parking
Old 01-27-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
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san francisco parking

I have to spend about five days in San Francisco, staying at the Hilton at Union Square (I'm not paying for the hotel). I'll have a self-paid rental car (need it for various reasons), and I wonder about parking.

The hotel wants $51 a day for parking, and I see that most of the public garages in the area want $32 a day.

I haven't been to SF for many years, so I'm not really familiar with current conditions. Does anyone know of a cheaper (relatively safe) parking solution? I don't mind walking a few blocks.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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Braumeister,

If you don't need the car 24x7, you might consider zipcar or one of its ilk in SF. They have pick up locations all over the bay area, including near Union square, and at $7 per hour (including gasoline) you might be better off going that route than parking a rental at your hotel. I think their daily rate is around $65.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:29 AM   #3
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How does Zipcar work? Is this a rental car system? Or a taxi system?

I'm going there, too, soon and really am interested. I, also, was worrying about what to do with my car.

Oh, here:

http://www.zipcar.com/?redirect_p=0
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:30 AM   #4
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Sorry I can't help. Parking in downtown SF is hum... a big pain. DW spends a lot of time there for her work and the parking situation is so insane that she stopped renting cars and takes cabs or public transportation instead. For her, it's more economical and less stressful.
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Old 01-27-2011, 12:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I have to spend about five days in San Francisco, staying at the Hilton at Union Square (I'm not paying for the hotel). I'll have a self-paid rental car (need it for various reasons), and I wonder about parking.

The hotel wants $51 a day for parking, and I see that most of the public garages in the area want $32 a day.

I haven't been to SF for many years, so I'm not really familiar with current conditions. Does anyone know of a cheaper (relatively safe) parking solution? I don't mind walking a few blocks.

it's all expensive down there, plus the usual heavy traffic so I would park at the hotel....lived there for many years and it always seemed like, in addition to the normal heavy traffic, the city was always tearing up some road around union square....good luck!
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Old 01-27-2011, 02:13 PM   #6
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If I had to have my car (for the weekend or something), and didn't want to spend a ton to park it downtown I would probably park it at a BART station somewhere. Parking at BART is usually $1 or $2 per day, and some of the further out stations have huge parking garages. (Caveat - some have small lots and fill up quickly, so check online). BART fare will be $3.50-$5.00. The Powell Street BART station is in Union Square, so you can get there from your hotel in less than 5 minutes. It's a 30 minute ride to some of the safer East Bay stations, and about 45 minutes to the stops near the airport. This assumes you don't need quick access to your vehicle.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Bless their marketing dept. Keep in mind that "Hilton Union Square" sounds like a euphemism to me. It may not be technically in The Tenderloin but at minimum is borderline. For just a few days, I'd pay the $51 tariff. How about renting from the closest place on, um, Union Square and fuguring a way to park it at the car rental place. Rent only on days needed. There's a direct BART connection to the airport.
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Old 01-27-2011, 04:28 PM   #8
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Bless their marketing dept. Keep in mind that "Hilton Union Square" sounds like a euphemism to me. It may not be technically in The Tenderloin but at minimum is borderline...
True; but, at least it is really close to lots of good, cheap food in the Tenderloin and Chinatown.

+1 on all the recommendations to minimize car rental days if possible.

I have not tried the BART lot strategy since I didn't know you could leave a car in those lots over night; but, it sounds like the cheapest reasonable option.

OP has my sympathy trying to drive anywhere in the city.
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:03 PM   #9
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I have not tried the BART lot strategy since I didn't know you could leave a car in those lots over night; but, it sounds like the cheapest reasonable option.
BART allows what they call Airport/Long Term parking:
Quote:
Airport/Long Term Permit parking is an exception to BART's 24-hour time restriction. Airport/Long Term parking is available for $5.00 a day at all East Bay BART parking lots (except Coliseum, Richmond and West Oakland) and for $6 per day in the Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae BART parking lots. Airport/Long Term Program permits can be purchased for periods up to 60 days. A limited number of Airport/Long Term spaces are available in the Monthly Reserved parking area. Spaces are guaranteed until 10 a.m. After 10 a.m., any unoccupied parking space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Buy your Airport/Long Term Parking Permit online now at Pacific Park Management/Parking Carma, which offers an easy, convenient and secure way to purchase with a credit card.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:39 AM   #10
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions.
My trip isn't until March, so I'll check out the options.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:12 AM   #11
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ZipCar in Portland is very popular. They even have one at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal to accomodate people arriving from Seattle.

We are in the Bay area several times a year, I don't take the car into the city unless attending the theater in the evening.
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