Long-term parking now plentiful at S.F. airport

Even with BART running to San Francisco International Airport and several private lots in nearby cities, travelers still clamor to park at the airport.

This year, it will be easier than ever, due to the recent opening of a new 3,109-space long-term lot, which has added substantially to the existing 1,100 surface spots and spaces in a smaller garage previously available, according to airport spokesman Mike McCarron.

The new garage means more options for travelers looking for cheap parking, and increased competition for the private lots surrounding the airport.

SFO consistently has an overflow of cars seeking spaces around the holidays, but long-term parking spaces were always guaranteed, McCarron said. The overflow of hundreds of cars, numbering between 500 and 600 during a weekend such as Thanksgiving, was diverted into the short-term lot.

The airport’s long-term parking spots typically fill up before noon on the Friday before a holiday weekend. The lot typically reopens briefly on Saturday morning, but fills up again until approximately Sunday night, McCarron said.

The airport is not the only option for travelers, however, and there are better bargains to be had. BART has also beefed up its own long-term parking availability this year, allowing an additional 225 long-term spots during the Thanksgiving weekend. Drivers can park for $5 daily at all East Bay stations except West Oakland, Coliseum/Oakland Airport and Lake Merritt, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

While the increased availability of government-owned lots has made long-term parking easier and cheaper for most travelers, at least two private long-term lot operators say it has taken its toll on lots like theirs located in San Bruno, South San Francisco, Millbrae and Burlingame.

James Abeyta, manager of the 1,250-space Parking Company of America lot in South San Francisco, estimates business has gone down by 30 percent since the airport lot opened. Part of the problem, Abeyta said, is that the airport has the power to take over the best pick-up and drop-off spots, while moving the ones for private lots to more inaccessible areas.

Joe Galligan, owner of SkyPark in San Bruno, estimates that business has gone down by 10 percent to 20 percent since the airport lot opened in June. The airport, he says, does not have to pay taxes to the city in which it is located, nor does it have to pay an airport parking tax levied on private shuttles that pick up their customers on airport property.

SkyPark pays between $100,000 and $120,000 annually in airport parking taxes and another $500,000 annually to the city of San Bruno, Galligan said.

“It’s hard to be competitive when you’re competing with the airport,” Galligan said.

tramroop@examiner.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Legal challenge halts SFPD jurisdiction over dog attacks on federal land

Dog owners beware — canine attacks are now consequence-free on federal land… Continue reading

49ers battle with the Saints lives up to its billing

Kittle’s 39-yard catch-and-run had placed San Francisco in prime position for a game-winning field goal as the 49ers trailed 46-45

SF police shoot burglary suspect in Mission District

Man allegedly attacked officers before being shot in first on-duty SFPD shooting since June 2018

Not even heavy rain can stop the 25th annual SantaCon

Jolly, drunken fun event for Santas is the ‘least wonderful time of the year’ for many locals

Ronen says $100M service expansion is ‘going to fix’ SF’s mental health crisis

Compromise mental health plan has backing of mayor, full Board of Supervisors

Most Read