A screenshot from Pied Parker's website.
While the city explores its options to alleviate parking issues in its most impacted districts an app developer from Palo Alto is hoping to get in the first shots at chipping away at the issue as Pied Parker aims for a mid-April launch of its program that lets residents rent out their driveways.
The Pied Parker app works a lot like Lyft or Uber, only you don’t have to drive your car around town with a mustache logo attached to it, you simply need an available parking space and to register it with the app. From there, you can stipulate what hours the space is open and set the dollar-per-hour price of parking there. It is one of two recent additions to the Long Beach parking app collection.
Pied Parker creator and President Gianni Maxemin said the original plan was for the Bay Area cities to launch first, but Long Beach, with the help of Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, made things move faster to allow for the projected April launch date.
“That was the hope, the hope was San Francisco and Berkeley and Palo Alto as stomping grounds but apparently Long Beach was more progressive than the heart of Silicon Valley itself, so we decided to put more efforts into Long Beach,” Maxemin said.
Pearce, who represents arguably the most parking impacted district in the city, was an early supporter of Maxemin’s work and helped lure him to the city. Her team helped canvass for the app’s rollout, helping to knock on doors and sign up households to participate in the parking-share app launch.
“They really like the idea that homeowners really get to reduce traffic and split up where people are circling the blocks, but they [residents] get money as well,” Maxemin said of Pearce and his representative in Long Beach, Mike Murchison. “I think that was the thing that kind of pushed it over the tipping point.”
Driveways, parking spots—both residential and work spaces—can be listed on the app as long as the person listing them can provide proof that they actually have a right to those parking spaces, Maxemin explained. This applies to homeowners and even those who are renting, but have rights to a parking space like a garage or driveway.
Users can reserve parking spaces in advance and will be notified by text message when their spot is about to expire. By tapping a depart button on the customer side of the app, a person can signal when they’ve left the spot. For each hour that a person is parked there, the operator of the spot will collect 75 percent of the listed hourly price, a figure that could go up as the company computes its financial equation.
“That allows them to take a really hefty chunk but still allows us to pay the bills and grow,” Maxemin said.
The company is also looking into a revenue sharing program, where a person who already uses the app can refer friends who can enter their personalized reference code, which would award the person of origin an additional 5 percent based on those subsequently listed spots and their corresponding list prices.
Like the ride share economy, the app notifies users of large events that could allow for a form of surge-pricing. The target date of the official launch of Pied Parker is the weekend of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9.