BOSTON (CBS) – Do you circle the neighborhood for a half hour, or pay a small fortune to put your car in a garage? Those are the options many of us struggle with when we venture into Boston for a meeting or a night out on the town.
But a new app developed here in Boston is taking the guesswork and a lot of the expense out of parking in the city and surrounding areas.
It’s called SPOT and marries empty private parking spaces with people who need a space.
“It’s been a wonderful alternative for my everyday life,” said Andrew Shyrock of West Roxbury who uses the app for businesses meetings during the day and nights out in the city. “A couple of weeks ago I went to Celtics game, I had a place to park convenient to the Garden, but not at those Garden prices,” he said.
SPOT is the brainchild of Braden Golub, a former Back Bay resident who saw empty parking spaces as a wasted opportunity. “Airbnb has really revolutionized the idea of a shared asset. You have an idle asset whether it’s a parking spot or an apartment, you should be able to earn revenue off of that,” he explained.
Cornelius Hurley rents his Back Bay spot when he and his wife are at work. He has earned hundreds of dollars, but for him it’s not really about the money. “I guess there is a hint of an environmental angle to it that people are not just patrolling the streets,” he said.
Space owners set their own rates but they are usually half the price of a garage and can be even cheaper than a meter. You also don’t have to worry about beating the meter maid back to your car in exactly two hours
For Andrew it’s about knowing where he’s going to park and how much it will cost before he leaves for a Celtics game. “I saved enough through parking to pay for the basketball ticket,” he said.
Right now the app is only available for the iPhone, but Golub says they are working on getting an Android version out as soon as possible.