Parking is one of those parts of big city life that everyone knows is a pain.
On average, people spend 17 hours each year looking for parking.
That includes time spent hunting for spaces and paying for parking when you finish up downtown.
Rather than go through the hassle of searching for a space, Uber offers a parking service that helps cut back on this time spent called Uber Park.
Let’s take a look at how this service works and whether it’s the best choice for you.
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What is Uber Park?
The Uber Park service is a service Uber offers as part of its expanded transportation services.
Rather than acting as another ridesharing option, Uber Park is Uber’s parking service.
Normally, folks looking to park their vehicles in urban or downtown spaces have to search out a parking spot.
Most of these spots will be in expensive parking garages or outdoor parking spaces with associated parking meters.
As technology has advanced, many outdoor parking spaces have meters that require an app and account, rather than spare change.
With Uber Park, a driver can instead look for open spaces in Uber-associated parking lots and structures.
By connecting a payment method ahead of time, a driver can pay for their parking inside of the Uber app, rather than using another service for the city.
How Does Uber Park Work?
As mentioned above, the Uber Park service works through the Uber app.
However, there’s more to this service than meets the eye.
You see, Uber doesn’t own dozens of parking structures across the major United States cities where they operate.
Instead, Uber has partnered with a parking service app named Metropolis.
Metropolis is a transportation service app that uses computer vision software and hands-free payments to make parking easier.
Rather than using a ticket kiosk or ticket gate, Metropolis parking structures use sensors to detect when a vehicle is on the spot.
Once the vehicle leaves the spot, a receipt is sent to the associated Metropolis account, which the user then pays.
The idea of this app is that you can save time by reserving spots ahead of time and not having to deal with paper ticket solutions.
Instead, all of your parking payments go through the smartphone application.
Uber’s partnerships with this service allow Uber users to access this platform without having to make a separate account with Metropolis.
Who Can Use Uber Park?
Like many of Uber’s services, there aren’t any extra requirements to use Uber Park in the Uber app.
If you want to start using Uber to help you find parking in town, then all you have to do is navigate to Uber Park inside of the app.
Remember that the various passes and premium subscriptions the company offers don’t affect what services you have access to.
Instead, these premium services instead offer deals and discounts to users.
These services also push your ridesharing and food delivery orders higher up in the queue for drivers to take.
However, despite this openness, not everyone will have access to this service.
Due to Metropolis only operating in certain cities, Uber Park only works in certain places.
Where is Uber Park Available?
Unfortunately, Uber Park only operates in places where Metropolis has parking structures available for its app.
Because Uber relies on the Metropolis app to provide parking in this partnership, Uber can only offer the Uber Park service to folks in a few cities.
The cities that can take advantage of the Uber Park service are:
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- Los Angeles
- New York City
Over time, Metropolis may introduce more cities into its parking services.
When that happens, Uber would most likely offer its Uber Park service to these new locations.
For now, Uber users outside of the listed towns will have to wait and see what developments happen over the next few years.
Pro Tip: If Uber Park is not available in your area, also check out SpotHero.
How Much Does Uber Park Cost?
If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with Uber Park available, then the next big concern is if these services help cut costs.
Parking in major cities can be expensive, so let’s see if Uber Park helps out with that.
Uber Park Cost and Fees
Uber Park charges the standard parking rates for the parking structures it offers.
When you book the parking space, you can also expect to pay a booking fee that goes to Uber.
While this fee isn’t much, it is still more than you would have to pay anyway.
Generally, this is a one-dollar fee on any parking costs for five dollars and above.
The exact parking rate that you pay will depend on where you park.
Most parking structures charge an amount per 15 minutes or a flat rate for 24-hour parking.
In the Uber Park service, you can check different parking structures to see what their parking rates are and make the best economical decision for you.
Does Uber Park Save You Money on Parking?
Similar to the Metropolis app on its own, the point of Uber Park doesn’t seem to be to save you money.
Instead, the goal is to save you time that would be wasted on finding and paying for parking in a downtown area.
Rather than wasting minutes hunting for spaces on crowded streets and garages, you can just pull into a space and let the automation of the apps handle everything else.
Is Uber Park Worth It?
Let’s take a look at the overall pros and cons of the Uber Park service and see whether it is worth it or not.
When it comes to the pros of Uber Park, the benefits are pretty clear:
- Saves time hunting down parking spaces, especially during peak hours
- Integrated with the Uber ecosystem, allowing Uber users to use this service without downloading other apps
However, we’ve seen that there are a few downsides to using the Uber Park service:
- Slightly more expensive than just using the parking structure
- Only available in a handful of cities
Conclusion: Yes, It’s Worth It
The main economic difference between using Uber Park and the regular parking services in your city comes down to a one-dollar booking fee.
Uber and Metropolis don’t upcharge their parking, at least no more than the other parking services in the area.
So, with all other costs being equal, you might be paying a one-dollar fee to save yourself minutes that would be wasted otherwise.
Considering how bad peak hours can be in some downtown areas, guaranteeing a parking spot for yourself can make a world of difference when you get there.
How to Sign Up for Uber Park
If you’re already on the Uber app, then you won’t have to sign up for Uber Park.
It’s an integrated service for Uber users that are in an area that supports the Uber Park service.
You can find the Uber Park service from the tiles near the top of the home page.
By clicking on the three dots for more options, you can pull up all the other miscellaneous services that Uber offers.
Towards the bottom, you should see a tile featuring the emblem for a parking garage labeled Parking.
By tapping on that tile, you will open up the Uber Park service and be able to book a parking space using the app and a preloaded payment method.
How to Park With Uber Park
Once you have your parking spot booked, you’ll drive over to the space and park your car in the designated spot.
The computer vision of Metropolis will record your car’s arrival and begin tracking the time the car stays in that spot.
When you return and drive off of the parking space, the app will figure out how much time you spent in the space and send a receipt to your account to pay.
If you have a payment method already in your Uber account, that payment method will be charged.
Uber Park FAQs
With how unique this service is, it’s understandable to have some questions about how Uber Park works.
Here are some of the common questions we have seen out there.
Can You Turn Off Uber Park?
Uber Park is an opt-in service, meaning that you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to.
So long as you don’t go scrolling through the extra Uber options in the app, you won’t encounter this service if you don’t want to use it.
Can You Extend Your Parking From the App?
You can extend your parking time from inside the Uber app.
In the Parking option of the Uber services, you will be able to see ongoing parking services in use.
By tapping on that order, you can enter your extended time into the order and update it.
Uber Park is a worthwhile service for those that live where it is offered.
By automating all of the hunting and fee payment processing that comes with traditional parking services, the driver can save a lot of time.
Over a year, you could be adding hours back into your life at the cost of a few extra dollars each month.