The combination of a strong economy and an explosion in Internet shopping is boosting demand for last-mile delivery services—particularly for deliveries of parcels to e-commerce customers. That activity is especially brisk in the dense urban areas where many of those shoppers live, which leads to a bedeviling challenge—where to park?
A smartphone app launched in June may offer a solution, allowing drivers to pay a reservation fee to secure parking close to their destination. Like competing apps such as ParkWhiz and SpotHero, the Parken app matches drivers with hosts who have empty parking spots to share. Space owners can rent out a vacant parking place, whether it's a driveway, a garage, a section of curbside in front of a residence, or a parking lot. Drivers make reservations and pay online via credit card. Once they reserve a spot, drivers are free to arrive and depart at any time within the booked parking window, the firm says.
The app, which supports parking spots for vehicles ranging from SUVs to trucks and semis, is currently available only in New York City but will soon expand to other cities, according to the company. Parken says it is even working on an extension of the app that will allow sailors to book space for their yachts at vacant docks.