Can't Find a Parking Spot? Look Online!

Dennis Faas's picture

The struggle of circling around streets to find a parking spot may soon be at an end.

These days you can do just about anything online, from paying bills, purchasing movie tickets, and even buying groceries. And soon, the Internet may be the best place to look when trying to reserve a parking spot.

Internet-based parking services were first introduced in late 2005 at airports, and continued to develop as many companies experimented with the technology. With urban planners estimating 30% of all downtown traffic is a result of drivers looking for parking spots, this new technology should make life much easier for city residents. Most services will allow a motorists to go online, or use their cell phones to reserve a space in a parking garage or on a nearby street. (Source:

One of these companies is San Francisco based Streetline Networks, which has installed 250 wireless sensors that notifies the city when a parking space is occupied.

According to Streetline's CEO Tod Dykstra, "parking will [soon] be the easiest part of driving in the city."

Streetline's technology also aims to make parking tickets a thing of the past. It will allow cities to offer drivers the option of paying for parking via the Internet or cell phone. "You might park, and then go to your office, pay by credit card, and be paid up until you leave. When you drive away, the space knows you left, and it sends you a receipt by e-mail," says Dykstra. (Source:

Another company, SpotScout, allows people to trade information about available parking spots -- and even rent out their own driveways.

A motorist can use SpotScout to inform other motorists who are looking for spots near by when parking becomes available. A city resident who is not using their driveway can also use SpotScout to make the space available by hour or day.

SpotScout, which will launch in San Francisco, Boston and New York in July, is a free service with no monthly fees; the driver is only charged when they pull into a parking spot. Already 800,000 people have signed up for this service. (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet