Wednesday, April 02, 2008

No more parking nightmares in Amsterdam

No more maniacally searching for that elusive parking spot before 9AM. No more competing with 5 other cars that spotted the ‘just available’ parking spot in the corner. No more cursing and pulling my hair. No more parking nazis that fines me €60 (argh, every time!) because the butt of my car is a few inches outside the parking perimeter or because I was not supposed to park there?

No more 10-minute walk from the parking to the office in my high heels. No more 10-minute walk from the parking to the office in my high heels under the rain. No more 10-minute run from the parking to the office in my high heels cursing under my breath and under the pouring rain because I am late, and because it took me half an hour to find an available parking spot! ARGH

Exclusive parking in Amsterdam.

I am soooooooo glad I do not have these problems anymore!!!

Now, I just step out of the office door, walk a few meters up to the parking on the next level - indoors, then get into the car, and drive out of the building. Quick (no more long walks), dry (no more wet shoes), and free (company expense).

After my parking nightmare for almost 2 years in Amsterdam Zuid, this is really a major major relief. Indeed a humongous and bitter thorn that was taken out of my flesh. This is just one of the reasons why I love my new job.

For the record, getting a private parking slot in the middle of Amsterdam for work is almost a privilege these days. And this is something I am very grateful about because ---

>>> Street parking fees in the center has astronomically risen to €3,80 and €4,80 (max) per hour! There is no low evening tariff and a maximum parking time limit of 2 hours only applies. In the outskirts, parking is €2,20 per hour. Now multiply these to 8 hours x 5 days x 4 weeks.

>>> While pay parking garages are a tad cheaper per hour, they do not abound and would still entail for you to walk far, very far, you would probably need to take a tram or have those carry-as-you-go folding bikes, unless the parking is coincidentally located near your office. Still, you pay the parking formula of 8 hours x 5 days x 4 weeks.

>>> To apply for a street parking permit in Amsterdam city hall, the waiting process could take months and even years. In my last job, I waited for an incredible 9 months (this was in the outskirts so just imagine if you are wait listing for a slot in the core center) and when it did come I declined and took myself out from the waitlist as I already knew I would be moving on in the next coming months.

>>> Private parking spaces in office buildings costs between €900 - €3,000 per year, and per car, all depending on the exclusivity of the office building, parking facilities, security, and if its indoor or outdoor parking. In our place here in Utrecht and we are not in the center, a double private garage is selling at €40,000, while in the center of Amsterdam they are going at €80,000 - €100,000. Amazing!

>>> Some employers in Amsterdam (especially those located in the center) elect to pay for parking expenses, while majority do not because of the ff: (a) high costs associated with it unless you are in management or its part of your package (b) limited parking slot availability (c) taking public transport is cheaper as costs are subsidized by the government (d) biking is always encouraged, and cost of the bike is subsidized too.

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