New math on cheapest parking at OAK

Old Sep 2, 05, 12:51 pm
  #1  
nsx
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New math on cheapest parking at OAK

I have been using Expresso at OAK, which if you show a AAA card is $6.75 per day with no taxes or surcharges. This is the best daily rate anyone offers near OAK.

If you are parking for two days or more, pcafreeparking.com has a coupon for one free day at the Pardee (Blue) lot. However, the actual charge rings up as follows:

$2.50 flat charge for airport access
$7.95 per day
-$8.99 discount for the free day (go figure)
+18.5% airport tax (wow!!)

You can paste this into Excel to do the math: =(2.5+(A4*7.95)-8.99)*1.185

Here are the results:

2 days = $11.15 (vs. $13.50 for Expresso)
3 days = $20.57 (vs. $20.25 for Expresso)
4 days = $29.99 (vs. $27.00 for Expresso)
5 days = $39.41 (vs. $33.75 for Expresso)
6 days = $48.83 (vs. $40.50 for Expresso)

But wait! PCA has a frequent parker program and Expresso does not. Park 31 days and you get one stay of up to 10 days free. To me, that's worth about $60, or $2 per punch. And BTW, the PCA people are sometimes very generous with their punches. Also, if you forget your punch card, they will give you a rain check and punch the card when you bring it next time.

If you subtract $2 per day from the PCA rates above, you will find that PCA wins the comparison for stays up to 12 days.

My recommendation: print the coupon and park at PCA blue as long as this offer continues.
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Old Sep 2, 05, 4:34 pm
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Great post! ^ I just moved to the Bay area and was wondering if anyone knows of deals for SJC parking. From doing a search and my own experiences thus far, it seems like DeLaCruz Parking w/AAA discount is the way to go ($8/day).
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Old Sep 2, 05, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by shiwala
Great post! ^ I just moved to the Bay area and was wondering if anyone knows of deals for SJC parking. From doing a search and my own experiences thus far, it seems like DeLaCruz Parking w/AAA discount is the way to go ($8/day).
If you want to be really cheap at SJC, there's a "passenger drop-off" entrance on Martin Ave. to the long term parking lot where people can be dropped off and then can catch the long-term parking shuttle to the terminals. Most of the parking on Martin and nearby streets are time restricted. But there are a few sections of some streets very close by that have no time restriction. This is a business area that is mainly empty on weekends, but these few sections are always heavily parked all weekend long.
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Old Sep 2, 05, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx
..... But wait! PCA has a frequent parker program and Expresso does not.
I haven't parked at Expresso in well over a year, but I thought Expresso had a program called Big Shot Rewards or something like that. (I can't find my card in my desk right now).
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Old Sep 2, 05, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by richee
I haven't parked at Expresso in well over a year, but I thought Expresso had a program called Big Shot Rewards or something like that. (I can't find my card in my desk right now).
I just found it on their website.... I remembered the name of the program correctly - but you get credit only when you use indoor valet parking, so certainly not applicable for cheapest parking discussion.
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Old Sep 3, 05, 1:52 am
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I posted this a while ago when PCA last offered a free day coupon. As you note, PCA is $2 cheaper than Expresso on a 2-day park. However, having parked at both lots, I can tell you that I find Expresso to provide far better service. The walk from the outdoor lot is never too far, I rarely have to wait to a van at the lot, and the free coffee and clean restrooms are a lifesaver. I find PCA tends to nickle and dime you with extra fees (as noted in your post).

The downside to Expresso is that it is a bit farther drive for those of us who are coming from SF and parts north of OAK. If i'm in a rush, I usually go with VIP Parking which is just off the hegenberger exit next to the bank building. But otherwise Expresso if I have sufficient time. It is really a shame that OAK got so greedy with the daily lot, though from the looks of things it hasn't hurt business too much.
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Old Sep 5, 05, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by shiwala
Great post! ^ I just moved to the Bay area and was wondering if anyone knows of deals for SJC parking. From doing a search and my own experiences thus far, it seems like DeLaCruz Parking w/AAA discount is the way to go ($8/day).
http://www.delacruzparking.com

They knock off a buck if you flash a AAA card.
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Old Sep 7, 05, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by richee
If you want to be really cheap at SJC, there's a "passenger drop-off" entrance on Martin Ave. to the long term parking lot where people can be dropped off and then can catch the long-term parking shuttle to the terminals. Most of the parking on Martin and nearby streets are time restricted. But there are a few sections of some streets very close by that have no time restriction. This is a business area that is mainly empty on weekends, but these few sections are always heavily parked all weekend long.
Another option is to use the free parking at VTA light rail stations. This will end up setting you back $3.50 for the roundtrip on the light rail ( for up to 7 days parking.) However, you still have to catch a shuttle (or a long walk) from the airport light rail station, and late night rail service is about hourly before it cuts off overnight.
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Old Sep 7, 05, 5:31 pm
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The fees that the airport charges for the OAK long-term/daily lot are simply criminal. When I used to park at OAK, my parking fee would often be 50% or more of the cost of my ticket!
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Old Sep 7, 05, 5:35 pm
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If fleecing non-FTers is what it takes for OAK to keep its charges to WN down, I'm all for it. That saves me money on the air fare.
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Old Dec 4, 05, 9:04 pm
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The pcafreeparking.com free day deal appears to be expiring at the end of the year. At least it won't let me reserve it now.

I think we'll be back to the old math, under which Expresso is the cheapest at OAK, starting January 1, 2006. Oh well, I've already earned more 10-day free stays at PCA than I can use myself. (I use them at SFO when going on vacation.)
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Old Dec 4, 05, 9:22 pm
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I prefer taking public transportation to the airport, and thankfully we have good connections to all three airports in the Bay Area
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Old Jan 2, 06, 8:39 pm
  #13  
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The free day offer at pcafreeparking.com is now accepting 2006 reservations. Therefore PCA is still better than Expresso for stays of 3 days or less. I believe that the erroneous $8.99 discount has been reduced to the correct $7.95, because the cost was slightly higher than I remembered when I parked there in December.
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Old Jan 4, 06, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by richee
If you want to be really cheap at SJC, there's a "passenger drop-off" entrance on Martin Ave. to the long term parking lot where people can be dropped off and then can catch the long-term parking shuttle to the terminals. Most of the parking on Martin and nearby streets are time restricted. But there are a few sections of some streets very close by that have no time restriction. This is a business area that is mainly empty on weekends, but these few sections are always heavily parked all weekend long.
I have done this a few times myself, with nary a parking ticket. It takes a few minutes more, but...
Free is good ^
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Old Jan 4, 06, 11:32 pm
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My experiences with PCA at OAK have been good, considering the free day coupon and the generous extra punches on the frequent parker card I often get. Free day coupon comes in conjunction with a reservation which can help during crowded holiday periods. Several times before I started using this I was turned away when PCA was full.
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