Filling a vehicle with gas might be the current problem for many, but finding a place to park the car has been an issue for a lot longer. Several companies have fired up to help frustrated drivers park their vehicles. Two previous posts addressed the parking problem with Parkwhiz and Parking Hunter - and I am sure there are a few more similar products.
The new kid in the parking reservation camp is BestParking.com, a free online search engine and rate calculator for Manhattan’s 1,030 parking facilities with a free mobile version available. Founded in 2006 by 20-year old college student Benjamin Sann, BestParking.com offers a very simple design. Interestingly, the site was inspired by “an episode of Seinfeld in which George refuses to pay for a parking space.” The company consists of 3 full-time and 6 part-time employees.
BestParking.com has partnered with Central Parking System of New York, Icon Parking Systems, Edison ParkFast, The Hertz Corporation, Five Star Parking, and Townhouse Management, the site offers reservations and rate guarantees at all 350 of their facilities. Since there is an enormous variation in rates among neighboring parking facilities, BestParking.com’s users have reported saving thousands of dollars each year in parking fees. Monthly motorists may also request discounted competitive bids from the site’s partners, who control a combined 50 percent of all available monthly space in Manhattan.
Drivers in Philly, Boston and DC are also in luck, and the service will be expanding to other large cities as well. Unlike competitors, BestParking.com lists all parking facilities in each city and boasts a fairly accurate rate calculator, with parking rates gathered on a quarterly basis.