I play for a soccer league in a significantly busy area of town. While I love the team and all things that go with it, as each Tuesday approaches I get an overwhelming feeling of dread. I pack up my gear a half hour earlier than should be necessary as I begrudgingly make a snack to help with the daunting task that awaits me.
“How the h*** am I going to find parking?”
It is literally one of the hardest neighborhoods to find parking in the United States. And I don’t mean literally in the way most Americans mean literally, which isn’t literally at all. I mean I literally circle around a 5 block radius for, at minimum, a half hour panicking to find a spot. Determined to be on time, beads of sweat drip down my brow. Yet despite the panic, worry, and early arrival time, I still result in being late.
Which is why I found it so exciting when I heard about the buzz around parking apps. Yes, it’s true – there is technology to help poor souls like myself decrease blood pressure levels and save us in our plight of permanent bad parking karma.
The glorious idea is to help drivers find parking spots easily. Different companies approach the parking mobile app idea with varied means. For example ParkMe allows drivers to reserve spots of popular destinations ahead of time. ParkWhiz provides interactive maps of available paid parking lots in the driver’s immediate area. Regardless of how it’s done, the high level concept is something to – in my opinion – rejoice over.
Yet one such company got in a bit of trouble recently. MonkeyParking, based in Italy, incentivizes drivers who are leaving parking spots to alert other drivers that a parking spot is opening up. They allow the driver to put a price on their spot, and those on the parking hunt can bid for it. The driver can give the spot to the highest bidder, and the new parker pays when they pull into their new spot.
However San Francisco isn’t as excited. City attorney Dennis Herrera has sent an order to the company to cease operation, citing the prohibition of selling or leasing San Francisco streets. MonkeyParking refused to close down but Herrera is still pressing to stop the operation. The case is yet to be resolved but psst…the app is still available at the time of this writing.
Companies are jumping on the parking app bandwagon, as more and more are being released by the day. IPS Parking Services built a new parking app with similar, but dare I say better, functionality. IPS runs the parking meters in the particular area the app is built for, and therefore have access to the data from the meters rather than relying on people reporting and selling. The downside is that the app only works where IPS meters are running, but the upside is more reliability and still has the same outcome – parking!
Companies building more parking apps is great news to those of us plagued with perpetual parking woes. It is also a golden opportunity for mobile app builders looking for a new hot idea to capitalize on.
Therefore I submit a small plea as a driver who lives in an area in need of more parking – build more parking apps! Even better, Barefoot Solutions has extensive experience building parking apps, or really any kind of iOS mobile app or Android mobile app. Don’t wait to bring your idea to life – find out how here.