Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Penn Parking Wars!!

(yup, Parking Wars was taped in Philadelphia.  Everyone knows that PPA don't play!)

Hey everyone, I know this is no formal introduction but still I have to get this off my chest. I'm trying to figure out parking at Penn. I live in Chester, PA--on the other side of the Philadelphia Airport (my hometown, and the only town I have ever called home).  I have no complaints about living a drive away from Penn.  Its only 20 minutes. But what I do have fathom....PARKING!! 

The world is becoming less friendly to the drivers of the world. Gas this morning was 3.8-something everywhere I went. Still don't know how gas is priced other than "you are going to pay it anyway!"

It's not Penn's fault per se, as they have a number of options for student parking rather than it is my frugal-ness that says to me "hey, you don't have to pay that."  Read more about them here. 

There are a couple options that I have found so far...

  1. 40th and Spruce. Pass CopaBanana. On the other side of the light is paradise. Free on-street parking that is closest to GSE at 37th and Walnut. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a secret.  But when I pulled up, I realized it was very well known. IF YOU CAN FIND A SPOT, TAKE IT!!!
  2. 39th and Market. In front of the University Square Apartments.  This was my aha! moment.  12-hour on-street parking in front of a high-rise apartment building on one of the most popular streets in Philadelphia.  1$ an hour until 8pm where after 8, parking is free.  Not bad because I usually get here sometime around 1, and pay until 8. With spare time, I paid $6.75 to get my car until free time beginning at 8:00.  The parking meters accept cash, coins, and card. As well as this new SmartCard option. I personally just use my debit card everytime. Between Market and Chestnut on 39th, you can also find 4-hour parking for the same rate.  Not bad when the longest GSE course is 2.5 hours if you are just in-and-out.
  3. Right outside GSE-37th and Walnut.  Yup, you guessed it. You can park right outside the door.  Not exactly literally, but about 15 steps from the door. This parking is premium. 3-hour parking at $2.00 an hour. If you have 4:30-7:00, you could possibly get in at 4:15 and pay until 7:15 for $6.00.  But if you are like me and like being around GSE, that means that you must make it to your car before your parking expires because as everyone in Philadelphia knows too well: PPA dont play!  
Other options:

Get a bike!--If you live in the West Philadelphia area, perfect.  Biking gives you exercise and cost you nothing after purchasing the bike.  There are plentiful bike racks and even bike lanes on the streets surrounding Penn.  Hey, look out for the environment. Bike!

SEPTA-SEPTA is interesting, it has its pro's and con's for someone who lives outside the city. I took SEPTA in to Penn a couple times to see if it would be feasible. Here's what I came out with:  If you are good with wait time and being able to get readings done while on public transportation, DO IT!!  However, if you want to be home when you want to be home, take your chances driving.  It's not something that's an everyday commitment. Sometimes I ride; sometimes I drive.

(Plus about SEPTA: The entertainment factor.  SEPTA at any time, especially late is utterly hilarious for us people-watchers.  The personalities you run into are bound to create some good stories.)


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