The San Francisco Marathon hosts more than 25,000 runners each year and with this many people coming into the city for an event, managing traffic, congestion and parking is crucial. However, The Marathon does not own any of their own parking inventory so they could only recommend lots and garages to the attendees. To make it more challenging, many parking locations throughout San Francisco are closed on weekends which is when the race is always run.
The Marathon’s goals were simple – to help the race attendees find guaranteed parking, reduce congestion and help with traffic flow, and keep runners out of the locations that would be closed come race day.
By leveraging Parking Panda’s existing relationships with parking operators in San Francisco, they were able to convince lots and garages that would normally be closed on the weekend to stay open and offer inventory specifically for the runners. Parking Panda provided The Marathon with a reservation widget to place on their site so attendees could easily search for and reserve parking at locations near the start line. They were also able to point runners to certain locations based on their wave start time to help reduce congestion within the city.
Parking Panda’s visual reservation enabled widget shows parking locations based on price and distance from the start line of the marathon. It allows attendees to view the hours of operation for the locations, as well as the amenities offered and information on the specific garage or lot. Runners can book their parking either through the site or the app and their parking spot is guaranteed to be available when they arrive on race day.
Both operators and The Marathon team were very pleased with the results of using the Parking Panda reservation widget. The process allowed for a smoothly managed race day and helped eliminate traffic issues and frustration amongst the attendees. Parking locations that would have normally been closed were filled to capacity generating more revenue for the participating operators. More locations are expected to be added next year based off this win-win experience for all involved.