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SF’s Peer-to-Peer Parking Experiment

Would parking in SF be such a headache if you could take your parking space with you wherever you drove?
By - posted 9/5/2011 No Comment

What if you needed to park in downtown SF and you had really cool friends with an apartment who let you park in their space as long as you were out by an agreed time? Sounds great, right?

But what do you do if you don’t know anyone who lives in downtown?

Parking in San Francisco doesn’t have to be a headache if everyone started sharing driveways. At least that new company Park Circa‘s philosophy.

Through smart phones, they’re working to create a private peer-to-peer network of parking, one in which driveways can earn their owners money and drivers can stop endlessly circling the block.

Have an unused parking spot to share – even just for a few hours a day?

Do you live in a house or apartment that has a parking spot sitting empty all day long, for weeks at a time or for even half a day? Here’s a novel idea: turn it into cash easily through Park Circa. At $2 per hour for even 4 hours a day, you could net yourself $240 a month. You set your own price but Park Circa helps by suggesting a going rate.

But if profiting from selling your spot makes you feel all icky pro-capitalist, you can always tell yourself that you’re actually being a good citizen… helping your neighbors alleviate a source of daily frustration and making the city greener by reducing emissions from cars driving in circle. Or you can pay-it-forward and use your profits to pay for your own parking spots.

Take your Parking Space With You
When you get paid, you  get the money either as a check directly from the company (after they take a 25% fee) or—here’s the real breakthrough—you can turn that earned money into parking credit for you to use around town. Then, the money you earn by sharing your spot can be used to pay for your own parking needs when you’re desperately looking for a spot in another neighborhood. So in a sense, you’re taking your parking spot with you.

Don’t have a space yourself, but know someone who does? If you have a neighbor with empty space, you could get them to sign up by posting this handy flyer

Alternative Resource: ParkingSpotter.com – Similar concept to ParkCirca, but mostly focused on renting out your parking space by the month. A very simply designed site, but the service is 100% free for both people renting out their spots and people looking to find spots.

Need a Parking Spot?

First things first, you have to sign up on the Park Circa website and buy some parking credit from the company. Then, next time you’re out, you pull out your smart phone and find an available private parking spot near you.

It could be one for $0.50 an hour, available until 6 pm when the owner comes home or a premium spot in North Beach on a Saturday night for $3 an hour and the added benefit of making your reservation. (Don’t be disappointed if you don’t find enough spots your first try – Park Circa is still a relatively new service so it’s likely to grow over time – especially if you spread the word.)

[ Get the Free iPhone App ] or [ Get the Free Android App ]

Alternative Resource: Open Spot – It won’t help you find empty driveways, but want to find open street parking spots without paying any fee? Google’s free Open Spot app for Android lets users alert you when they’ve left a street parking spot open. FREE

Source: Park Circa via RichmondSFBlog