ParkWhiz Says it Helps Make Parking Easy
Recently, I had occasion to drive into New York City with my sister, Loren, my nephew Tyler and my niece, Maddie. My sister told me she would be staying in the City for a while and, so, of course, I told her to stay over the night before and I would drive her in. It is only a two hour drive for me, and parking in NYC, if you don’t know, is extremely difficult and expensive. My sister, in return, suggested that I see a show with the 3 of them. We ended up seeing Stomp (it was fabulous.)
But I digress.
I Need to Park in NYC
The point of this blog post is not to tell you about my trip, it is to tell you about ParkWhiz. I needed to find parking near the Orpheum Theatre. Knowing the issues, my sister suggested I get online and find the closest parking. As I looked, I came across a website called ParkWhiz.
I Find ParkWhiz
Seeing the link for the website reminded me that I had heard of an app that helps with parking. When I looked at the website, I realized that the app is ParkWhiz. I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. Worst, I don’t have a spot. Best, my life is easy (or maybe easier.)
I Use the App
I downloaded the app. Once I installed it, I searched for Orpheum Theatre. ParkWhiz showed me a map with a bunch of prices marked in various locations, as well as a mark where the Theatre is located. The spot it recommended as the best location was the same place the Orpheum recommends.
All I had to do was touch the spot I wanted. The app recognized from my search for Orpheum that I was going to see a show. It offered me show times and reserved an hour before and an hour after. It then told me my fee would be $28, which I paid in advance.
The app offered to put the parking information on my calendar, so I didn’t even have to remember the address. This made it easy for me to simply click on my calendar and get driving instructions using a different app.
I Experience Parking
About an hour before it was time for me to park, I received an alert from the app that it was almost time to park. When I arrived, I told the parking attendant I had used ParkWhiz, he said show the folks on the way out. When it was time for me to leave, the first person was a bit confused, but he went and got help. The second person knew exactly what it was, showed the first guy what to do, and we were all set. (This didn’t take long.) A third person brought my car, I tipped him, and off we went.
I left before my parking time was up, but I was alerted to the fact that the time was about to be up.
I have a few concerns. First, you cannot change your time frame. Right now, the only option is to cancel and reschedule. This means I would have to pay twice and wait for a refund. Not convenient. Also, on a busy day, I could end up completely losing my spot.
I also, don’t see what happens if I use less time. It looks like I am just out of luck. This means I have to guess and could end up paying more than I need to. In my case, I ended up arriving 30 minutes early and leaving 30 minutes early, so it wasn’t a big deal. Obviously, in my case, the time frame wasn’t an exact thing. I suppose at busier times of day, when parking lots get full, it matters much more that you arrive and leave on time.
There is potential for a problem if you don’t reserve enough time either. The website notes that you would just pay the extra, and the fee might be higher. I get that. But, there is, the website states, a risk of fines or getting towed! This is another part of the issue with not being able to adjust your time. If you could simply add more time, assuming space is available, of course, then that would resolve the problem.
What I Think
All-in-all, I am happy to recommend ParkWhiz. The app worked well. I am sure a lot of the experience depends on the parking garage itself, but the idea is a good one. Especially in a major city like NYC, or in any city when parking is likely to be at a premium.