Navigating Post-Pandemic Parking Trends

March 15, 2023

Navigating Post-Pandemic Parking Trends

Welcome to the “New Normal”

As Americans return to the workplace, venture out, and resume many daily activities, many choose to drive. And if you drive, you frequently need to park somewhere. As a result, parking lots and garages in many U.S. cities are much busier than they have been over the past three years. In some cases, they’re even busier than they were pre-pandemic. However, as parking returns and demand grows, consumer behaviors and parking trends have evolved.

Evolving Consumer Behaviors

While parking demand has generally increased, the demand and consumer trends have changed in many cities.

  • Public Transit vs. Driving – In markets with efficient public transit options, many people still choose to drive compared to 2019 and prior. In some cases, this is due to continued concerns about public health risks, while in other cases this is the result about safety and crime concerns. Cities like Chicago are seeing lower public transit ridership and higher parking counts at some facilities.
  • Monthly Parking vs. Daily Parking – Many office workers continue to work a hybrid or partial week schedule, and it’s unclear how long these habits will persist. When workers began remote schedules in 2020, many cancelled their monthly parking passes for obvious reasons. Now, they are doing the math each month to determine whether it makes sense to repurchase a monthly pass, or to pay for parking on a daily basis.
  • Daytime vs. Evenings and Weekends – While people are reluctant to return to the office, they’re eager to go to restaurants and clubs after work hours. As a result, many parking facilities have not returned to pre-pandemic occupancy levels, but have exceeded pre-pandemic levels evenings and weekends.
  • Company Validations – During the pandemic, many companies provided free or discounted parking for their employees as an accommodation for coming to the office on an occasional basis. This has subsided in the past 6 months as employers’ expectations have changed.

In conclusion, parking garages in many markets of the country are experiencing higher levels of demand compared to pre-COVID times. The population is rushing to different online aggregators to try and find the cheapest parking options for their commute. Interested in saving on expensive parking fees? Read below for a guide to saving big the next time you drive into a city.

Find the Cheapest Parking Options

Staying up-to-date on the evolving parking trends is crucial to avoid overpaying for parking. ParkChirp was created as a tool for users to find the cheapest hourly and monthly parking options. Just enter an address in the search bar, select your reservation time, view your options, and checkout! ParkChirp does not charge operators expensive commissions and fees, so they can pass along the savings to you. Find the cheapest parking rates every time with ParkChirp!