[UPDATE 5/21/14] With the Ace Parking issues this week, it may be helpful to note that there are many other parking options in downtown San Diego. Running a search for “San Diego” on the website Parkopedia lists the many lots in downtown. Most of these are open to the public and will be available on a first-come first-serve basis during the convention. Street parking can also be found further away from the convention center – or nearby if you have really good Parking Carma. Metered spaces have time limits but are free after 8pm, and all day on Sundays. (As a super secret note: Yellow spaces are free to park in between 6pm-6am and all Sunday.) As always, please read signs in garages and on the street when parking to know their time limitations and rates. Another transport option would be making use of the official SDCC shuttle buses, and parking at or near a hotel on their route. These parking alternatives, along with taking public transportation or private car services as mentioned below, give many good options for getting to the Con. As with most things related to Comic-Con, the key is to be patient and to think outside the (parking) box when needed.
While we expect Comic-Con parking to go on sale next month from ACE Parking (keep an eye on the SDCC Unofficial Blog for the latest), there are several other options for getting to, from, and around downtown San Diego during the convention:
We have always been big proponents of the San Diego MTS Trolley system, with a convenient stop right at the SD Convention Center. Free parking is available at the Old Town and the Qualcomm Stadium Stations (parking is limited to 24 hours), and its a quick trip into downtown along the Green Line. Fares are $2.50 for one-way, $5 for a 1-day pass, or $15 for a 4-day pass. MTS has made special 4-day Comic-Con passes available in the past and will likely do so again this year. Plus, they always put up fun signs designed specifically for Comic-Con at the convention center trolley station. Last year was Dothraki from Game of Thrones and 2012 signs were in Klingon. (Hopefully you knew where you were going!) More info: www.sdmts.com
You’ll find these blue and white Smart cars all over town these days. At 41 cents per mile (to a maximum of $15 per hour) you can’t beat the rate for a quick jaunt around town. Plus, the Car2Go coverage area includes the airport (you will usually be able to find a car within walking distance) and extends into Mission Valley for anyone staying along Hotel Circle. For ending a trip in downtown, there are several Car2Go-only parking spaces (the car’s screen will tell you where they are) and you can also leave the vehicle in a metered space without paying the meter, as long as it is a 1 or 2 hour zone. The Car2Go signup process requires a copy of your drivers license and takes about a week. After approval, an access card is mailed to you and you are ready to go. Even if you don’t live in San Diego, the access card you receive works in the U.S. and Canada where Car2Go has service. Sign up on www.car2go.com. Don’t forget to use the discount code, below!
Becoming more and more widely used in San Diego, Uber allows you to see nearby cars on it’s smartphone app, and will let you know exactly how much your ride will be before you book a car. You can compare rates for different available vehicles, then book a car and be picked up within minutes. You also pay digitally via your phone, via a credit card or linked PayPal account, so no cash is needed. Use promo code “uberoutsideCC” or this link to sign up for Uber and get a $10 credit on your first ride!
Similar to Uber, Lyft bills themselves as “Your friend with a car.” Using their phone app, you request a pick-up and within minutes a friendly driver will grab you (make sure to fistbump them, and sit in the front seat!). The driver’s photo and a picture of their car appears on the tracking screen so you can recognize them, plus you cant miss the pink mustache on the front of Lyft cars! Drivers are rated by past passengers, and only the highest rated drivers are visible on the Lyft app to request. You’ll also pay and tip via the app. New users to Lyft can use the code “SlickDeals” when signing up, to get credit for a free ride up to a $50 value.