Can’t they run a surface lot?


Can’t they run a surface lot?

Manny Resores from the UK sent me a link concerning the problems of Central Parking (and other companies) in San Francisco. Watch it here. Its worth the view.

Seems local entrepreneurs are gong to unstaffed POF lots and during rush hours standing in the lanes and collecting up to $6 a car. Then when the checkers go around later in the evening, they are tagging all the cars that didn’t use the POF and giving people citations for $25 for not paying.

This scam isn’t new. But it seems to be an epidemic in SF. There are a lot of unmanned lots in the bay area but this scam works best where there are a lot of well heeled folks going to the opera, theater, or out to dinner.

I felt a little sorry for the Central Manager. She was put on the spot. We commented on the problem when the SF Examiner discovered the scam earlier this year. We even called the Central Manager but got no return call.

This is ridiculous. It shows that as an industry we can’t even keep our lots supervised.  If there are three guys spending 2 hours collecting money on the lot, and getting up to $6 a car that means they must collect, what $300 or $400 a night. And that’s for less than a couple of hours’ work.  Wouldn’t it seem to be a good idea to put someone on the site to stop the problem. Or, how bout calling the cops. According to the SFPD they have had no formal complaints from the operator.

In fact, couldn’t one supervisor drive by each of these lots every half hour and call the cops and keep these guys running. 

Hire an enforcer type. Pay him to drive around to all the lots (perhaps all the operators could get together and hire the same guy) and ensure that this scam wasn’t happening. What’s so damn complicated about that.

If there are 10 lots in the city, that probably collect $3000 to $5000 a night total, if you paid someone 10% of that to be sure you get your money, wouldn’t it be money well spent.

Of course you would also have to do what the scammers do, and that’s look at the schedule of events around the lots and see when activity is at the peak, and be sure your guy hits them on the right days and times. 

The manager says its an economic problem. Well, when people are saying "Never Park at a Central Location" the problem may be worse than you think.


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John Van Horn

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