Bicycle Valet Parking

Like valets for car parking, valet services allow bicyclists to check a bicycle into a parking facility. Bike parking facilities can be fixed or established for events such as sporting events or fairs. 

Benefits & Problems Addressed

Predictable, easy, and safe bike parking: Valet parking gives bicyclists peace of mind that a secure space is available.

Traffic relief: Drivers can opt for biking knowing that secure and easy bicycle parking is available. Valets also reduce the footprint of parking, increasing the number of spaces otherwise available via bike racks and poles.

Revenue for Bicycle Advocacy Groups: Bike-oriented (or other) non-profits can establish a revenue stream providing parking. This also helps event organizers who need to secure parking in order to get a permit.

Tips & Techniques

How it works:  Clearly marked and fenced space is allocated for bike parking. Valets use/bring in racks depending on expected volumes and provide staff. Like parking & coat checks, valets secure the bike and give the owner a stub.  Bicyclists retrieve their bike from the valet.

Types of Valet Services: Valet services can be fixed or event driven valet services. Fixed parking, with hours can be through established auto parking facilities, through Business Improvement Districts or on University campuses. Event-driven services are typically provided for sporting events, concerts or large fairs & festivals. 

Business models: Valet parking can be provided by (1) Established car parking garage/valet services, (2) Business Improvement Districts. For event-driven valet opportunities, NGOs or businesses work with event planners to supply racks and personnel. IN some cases, event planners are required to have a parking plan.

Typical best practices: In general, having bike owners supply locks adds a level of security.  For events, clearly mark the latest time an owner may retrieve a bike without penalty. Valets can also store other items such as strollers, long boards, and helmets. 

Hot Buttons: Storing (and charging for) unretrieved bicycles. 


Valet Bicycle Services, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

Valet Bike Services, BikeAustin

Campus Bike Valet, University of Arizona

Image: Flickr/Payton Chung