A new Baltimore-based startup is aiming to completely change how we view parking, paying for parking, and more. For city dwellers, one of the most frustrating things can be finding parking. In busy areas, this is especially a problem and parking can be at a premium.
Several ideas have cropped up and been tried over the years. Premium lots where you pay by the hour or day, “valet jockey” services where entrepreneurs (often illegally) shuffle cars around in double parking to keep them from being ticketed, and more have all been seen in various metros.
Thanks to the Internet, smart phones, and individual entrepreneurship, however, this is all going to a new level.
ParkingPanda was founded by Nick Miller and Adam Zilberbaum on a simple idea: if you have a reserved parking spot and aren’t using it, why not rent it to someone who can for a day, a few days, whatever?
Currently working only in Baltimore, the app allows users to create accounts for their paid or reserved parking spaces and then mark them as available and for how long (and when). So if you’re going to be out of town and have a monthly paid spot, you can offer it to others on a per-day basis. If someone agrees to your price, they pay you through the app and use the space.
Co-founder Nick Miller got the idea while in college when he was renting an apartment, but had no car to fill its parking space with. Later, while attending a game, he paid someone to park in their driveway during the game. The two events meshed and he got the plan for ParkingPanda.
The app itself was born over Startup Weekend in Baltimore, where Miller met his soon-to-be-partner Zilberbaum. Over the competition weekend, they worked on the app and won. ParkingPanda soon launched at the Inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix with 117 spaces available for the weekend.
The app will soon expand into Washington D.C. and then Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and more, eventually covering the nation.