If you live in a big city and drive a car then you probably understand what a nightmare trying to find a place to park can be. Finding a spot is the first task, then you have to fork over change for a meter or pay steep prices at a private lot. If you live in the San Francisco area, then GottaPark may be just what you’re looking for.
Now first of all, I say San Francisco because that’s the area they are focusing on at the moment. GottaPark is almost like a classifieds for parking spots, and anyone in any city can post and find spots. As of today, I could only locate parking spots in San Francisco, but all this service needs to get going in other cities is for people to find it and start using it.
The way GottaPark works is simple – if you’re looking for a place to park then just enter in a location and the dates and times you need to leave your car. You’ll be presented with a list of residential and commercial areas that are renting out their spots for various prices. There’s a brief description of the property and a price you’ll need to pay in order to park your car for the dates you chose. One thing that I noticed is a huge difference in pricing. For an 11 hour period, prices ranged from $8.00 to $525.00. Obviously there’s either a problem with how the hourly rates are configured on GottaPark or some people are just overcharging. For my screencast, I booked a private driveway for one night and the total cost was $9.20. The renter was charging $8.00 and the $1.20 was the GottaPark reservation fee. GottaPark charges a fee of $.60 for spaces under $5.00 and 15% for every price above that.
The final step in reserving your spot is to enter in your credit card information and print out your receipt. The person renting the spot will receive a notice that their spot has been rented along with your vehicle information.
On the other side of things, if you have a parking spot that you don’t use all that often, you can easily post your spot for rent. It’s a painless task, only involving your address, a description of the spot, and how much you charge per hour. You can also create multiple schedules of when your spot is available. If someone rents out your spot then you’ll be notified and receive your payment via PayPal a week later.
Aside from the huge discrepancies in parking prices, I think GottaPark has a lot of potential. The only problem will be to get people to start using it instead of just posting available spots on free services like craigslist. Here’s my screencast tour of GottaPark:
Click Here To Watch The Screencast 3m19s
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