Finding a parking spot is likely the biggest challenge for a driver in New York City. Those that seek them and those that have them can use a new app to make some extra cash and help to cut down on neighborhood traffic.
If you have a private driveway, you can now to rent it out thanks to an app that launched Monday, which has so far targeted its outreach to the congested streets of Park Slope, Boerum Hill and Fort Greene. The app is expected to help city drivers save time by avoiding endless runs around blocks hunting for spots.
SpotPog allows users who own driveways to set their own availability and prices, which will be driven by demand.
For instance, a driveway near Rockaway Beach on a sunny summer Saturday might go for $20 an hour, while an owner of a spot near Prospect Park might rent the space out for $5 an hour on weeknight when families might need a place to park near their kids' soccer game, reps explained.
(A parking spot for $20 an hour still might pale in comparison to spots that now cost $1 million to buy.)
The app also allows drivers who have downloaded the app to swap public spaces — with incentives for those posting when they vacate spots. Drivers earn credits — or "pogs" — every time they give away a free spot to another user. Those credits can then be used to claim a free space later on, the company said.
"We see the parking problem as a civic challenge that must have a community-based solution," SpotPog founder Jacques Blinbaum said in a statement, explaining how the company engaged community leaders and residents early-on, speaking with more than 5,000 people while building the app.
By taking a community-minded approach, the app — which has the support of several politicians, including Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams— seems to be helping the company avoid some of the controversy of other "sharing economy" companies like Uber and Airbnb.
Adams was hopeful that the app could help Brooklyn's "serious parking problem."
"We need an innovative approach to help residents find spots in their own neighborhoods, or when running errands and attending local events," he said in a statement.
"SpotPog has the potential to meet this mission, employing our smartphones in a smart way to help reduce traffic congestion, decrease street-level pollution, and allow for more drivers to visit our local business districts," he said.
Some residents have taken their own approach to sharing spaces, like a rabbi who lives on the Upper East Side, who often swapped his spot with a Bronx man who worked around the corner from him.