I'm on crutches. Again. So, right now, public transportation isn't feasible, and I find myself driving everywhere. While the ParkChicago app is convenient, and I can reload my balance from a seated position. It's pretty darn expensive. Especially when you're parking downtown Chicago.
If you choose to go the garage route, it's also expensive.
Enter the SpotHero app.
I was meeting my sisters at Big Bowl on Ohio for lunch this past weekend, and I was trying to find a garage close by so I wouldn't have to crutch too far. I can't remember where I heard of SpotHero. Maybe on Twitter. But it suddenly popped into my head, and I figured I'd see if it could find me a spot. I didn't realize it would not only find me a spot close to my destination but cut the price in half.
The garage it sent me to was at 50 E. Ohio. The address for Big Bowl is 60 E. Ohio. Very convenient. And the price it quoted was $16 for 3 hours. Way cheaper than a meter. And half the price of the regular garage fee.
Of course, I forgot to scan the QR code when I entered the garage and, out of habit, grabbed a ticket instead. But, with a quick tweet to SpotHero, they assured me that I would be able to scan on the way out with some help from the attendant. It took a little time for the attendant to program my QR code, but once he did, it worked like a charm. And I only paid $16 to park in the heart of Chicago for 3 hours on a Sunday.
To use SpotHero, simply:
- Search for a parking spot near where you're going -- include the date and time.
- Pay for it with a credit card. (I have an iPhone, so I used Apple Pay)
- Scan your QR code when you enter the lot. (Don't pull a Jill and take a ticket)
- When you leave, scan your QR code again.
When I was gushing about the app on social media afterwards, some of my friends said that they have issues with valets being able to use this app properly. But overall, I got some pretty fab feedback.
How have I not used this before? I dunno, but rest assured, I'll never use another parking garage in Chicago with out using SpotHero.
Traveling outside of Chicago? Other cities that have spot locators on the app include: Baltimore, Boston, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Newark, NYC, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington DC. Yeah, I'll be using it when I travel, too!
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