There’s a ton of stuff happening this weekend in San Francisco. There’s the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. There’s Fleet Week. There’s the America’s Cup. There are San Francisco Giants playoff games. There’s a San Francisco 49ers matchup. There’s the Italian Heritage Parade in North Beach and the Castro Street Fair. There’s Burning Man’s Decompression Fair.
Altogether, some estimate San Francisco will have more than a million visitors entering the city this weekend for all these events. That’s a huge amount, considering that on a good day San Francisco has a native population of about 800,000 residents.
For residents here, that means a lot of crowding and traffic and a dearth of parking in a city where many people already have problems finding spots for their vehicles. While residents could lean heavily on transportation options like taxis, Uber (with surge pricing!), and Lyft, the problem of parking is, well, a problem. God isn’t making any more parking spaces, and so if you don’t have a spot in one of the neighborhoods affected by these events, you could have a problem finding some.
Enter ParkPlease, a new marketplace for parking spots. Like Airbnb for parking, the startup lets people who have spare room in their driveways to rent that out to others who need a place to park. The startup made a bit of a splash around Outside Lands, which is another music festival like Hardly Strictly that takes place in Golden Gate Park. It parked more than 1,000 vehicles during that event and ever since, it’s been busy adding parking inventory all over the city, including some areas that will be affected by this weekend’s events.
But for those who are going to the America’s Cup viewing area or checking out Fleet Week activities over the weekend, it’s got another option: ParkPlease has partnered up with Limos.com to provide relatively low-cost parking and party bus shuttles to and from those events. On Saturday and Sunday, users will be able to park at a lot in SOMA for $40 and get complementary shuttle service to and from the Marina. Shuttles will be running every 20 minutes to drop people off and pick them up throughout the day, so they won’t have to drive to find parking along with the other hundreds of thousands of people who plan to attend.
The promotion fits in with ParkPlease’s mission, which co-founder Charlie Ansanelli says is to “make parking stress-free.” That means helping users find parking even when there aren’t major events happening. The goal is to connect demand with supplies. And like other marketplaces, the company takes a small fee for all transactions that happen on its system. But in a weekend like this, it’s a good option to have, regardless.
Anyway, go out, get parking, and try not to sweat all the annoying
tourists visitors everywhere, people.