Friday, January 11, 2008

San Francisco is Not Car Friendly

A common complaint people have when staying in San Francisco has to do with parking and driving a car. San Francisco has a transit first policy and private cars are discouraged. When I look at TripAdvisor, I see complaints about parking at nearly every hotel. The common complaints are about the price of parking and issues with moving a car around.

Parking is expensive in San Francisco. There is no way around that. The parking tax a garage pays is 25%. Luckily a tax increase to 35% was just voted down. Also, labor is expensive and valet parking is very labor intensive. Most of the hotels, the smaller ones in particular, do not have onsite parking and sub-contract the service. Even hotels with onsite parking contact the service out. The higher-end hotels charge upwards of $55/nt for valet parking, plus 14% tax. We charge $35 plus tax for a regular sized car. I always find it funny how people complain about the excessive cost of parking at the high-end hotels. When people are paying $300-$500/nt for a room, breakfast is $40 a person and the internet is $9.95/day, why wouldn't the parking be just as overpriced? For us, we charge what the valet company charges us with a small mark up to cover our costs. $35 for a regular car and $45 for an oversized vehicle is on the lower side of the average. We don't set the price, the valet company does. There is nothing we can do about it. They need to charge what they need to charge to do business.

Regarding driving and delays in the City, it happens. As long as we order the car as requested, we have done our part. Whenever a person moves from one point to another, there is a chance of a delay. There can be a traffic delay anywhere, anytime. In a city, there is even a better chance of traffic delay situations because it is so busy. Be surprised when your car arrives within 20 minutes, and be understanding if it takes longer. The valet company serves many hotels in the City. When a car is ordered, it is delivered as quickly as they can. Of course, there are peak times when delays are most likely such as Fridays at 5pm, 12 noon check out time, Sunday morning check out time, holidays and special event periods. When a lot of people are doing the same thing at the same time, delays will occur.

If you don't like our valet service and think "I am going to stay somewhere else" Guess what? The valet service for that hotel may be the same one you are trying to escape at the Chancellor. Our valet provider serves many of the hotels around us. The Chancellor does offer two parking options which not many other hotels do. You can always use the 450 Sutter Garage to park your car which is only $22/nt plus tax and never has delays because you go to your car to get it. That is our offsite option.

When arriving at the Chancellor Hotel by Car: There is a white zone in front of the hotel for guest loading and unloading. Pull your car into the white zone leaving as little space between cars as possible. Be sure to CURB your wheels! From there, when you register, we will offer valet parking or the offsite garage. In those rare occasions when there is not room to park in the white zone when you arrive, do NOT double park or leave your car unattended at a red or yellow curb. You must circle the block and/or have another person in your party run inside the hotel to ask for assistance. The white zone is available on a first come first serve basis and is busiest during peak check in and check out times.

If all that is not bad enough, San Francisco is looking at a congestion pricing program. That is a system to charge everyone a fee that drives a car into a certain zone during certain hours. Stay tuned.

The good news is that at the Chancellor Hotel, you do not need a car. The hotel has an excellent location right on Union Square. Union Square is the Heart of the City. All transist leads in and out of the Union Square Area and most of the popular sights and attractions are within an easy walk. Use the links below to see if you can avoid a car.
Helpful Links:
Bay Area Rapid Transit
Door to Door Share Ride Shuttle

1 comment:

Jennie Lanics said...

Now in San Francisco you can find affordable parking for your car.
cheap pro parking in san francisco