Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Tech Column: Parking Everywhere

by Bill Adler

A car.
A city.
No space.

Does this poem sound familiar to you?

It doesn't have to sound familiar anymore with this creative service, Parking Panda, www.parkingpanda.com, the Airbnb of parking spaces. Using smartphones and an array of advanced vacuum tube technology, Parking Panda lets you find both nearby garages and privately-owned parking spaces that individuals have for rent.

Through Parking Panda you can reserve a parking space in advance, or even find one on the fly. After you sign up, get the iPhone app, www.bit.ly/Wiolfs, (there isn't an Android one yet), and a parking space will always be just a few clicks away. You can use Parking Panda without the app, too.

If you have a space that you're not using all the time, you can rent out that parking space during whatever time slot works for you. Let's say you drive to work and your garage or driveway is available from 8am until 6pm Monday - Friday: Just set your Parking Panda parameters to offer your space only during those times. Why not open up your garage, driveway or parking space to somebody who needs it? You may save somebody from burning carbon while circling for a space, and earn a few Starbuck's units for yourself.

Parking Panda's users set their own prices, which vary depending on the space's location, whether it's indoors, time of day, and day of the week. Prices can be set per hour or per day. In DC I've seen prices that are between $4 and $21 a day.

Parking Panda has a list of DC neighborhoods in which its users offer spaces: www.parkingpanda.com/dc-parking. Parking Panda is a clever idea that provides a real solution to a real problem. If you've ever not found a parking space, then Parking Panda is service you'll want.


Bill Adler is the co-publisher of the Cleveland Park Listserv, www.cleveland-park.com. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," http://amzn.to/rspOft. He tweets at @billadler.

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