eBay for Parking Spaces
A new company is trying to create an eBay for parking spaces.
Finding a parking spot often requires drivers to summon their inner caveman: Scan the horizon for the target, then bag it before someone else does.
A startup company is betting it can chip away at that anachronism and transform the search for parking just as eBay Inc. changed auctions. SpotScout Inc. hopes to create an online marketplace where drivers armed with mobile phones can not only reserve private spaces in garages and driveways, but also swap public parking spots in real time, with vacant spaces going to the highest bidder.
SpotScout envisions drivers posting information about their planned departure times and offering the space to the highest bidder. Garages and owners of driveway spaces periodically left vacant also will offer reservations by posting information about times when spots will be empty — a process the company calls “SpotCasting.”
If they can actually make this work, it’d be a blessing in major metropolitan areas. As with all innovations, though, there are winners and losers. Presumably, the people who own parking garages are not rooting for SpotScout to succeed.