A new parking application called MonkeyParking is causing quite a bit of commotion in San Francisco due to its bidding nature.
MonkeyParking is parking application, but unlike other parking applications like Pango, this application is not intended for users to pay for parking, but rather bid on a not yet available space.
The application works in a two-way fashion, a user who is looking for a space and a user preparing to leave a space, known as a “Monkey”. Once a user finds a “Monkey” they can begin bidding on the space. Bids start at $5. After the bidding war, the Monkey accepts the highest bid and vacates the parking space for the winner.
According to MonkeyParking, the average bid results in $5-$10 being paid to the Monkey. The application launched in San Francisco last month and is also currently available in Rome, Italy.
The introduction of the application has caused a backlash from residents. The notion of being paid for leaving a parking space leaves many to believe it will result in parking squatters and “Monkeys” which will only accept the highest bid. The CEO and co-founder of MonkeyParking Paolo Dobrowolny, has stated that there are parameters already in place to prevent any abuse of the application.
“They are talking about MonkeyParking like it’s been here forever and we just launched a month ago. These [issues] are not happening now, and it’s never going to happen because it’s something we can control,” Dobrowolny told one news outlet.
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Dobrowolny went further to stating that no one can see the current amount of a bid, thus preventing them from accepting only the highest bids. He also mentioned that the startup has the ability to track any user abusing the service and remove them from the application.
“We don’t want to create an infinite price for a parking spot,” Dobrowolny said. “If it’s an unfair app, it wouldn’t help anyone — including us. We just want the app to be a tool that helps people, and nothing more than that.”
When comparing to other pay-by-app parking solutions, MonkeyParking does have a different and unique approach. The nature of the application itself can cause an understandable up-rise among local users and residents as it causes unwanted parking rates.
We will have to wait and see if the app takes off in more cities, and how it affects local parking rates.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia