Rafi Mohammed

Why It's Fair to Save a Parking Spot...For a Price

Posted on July 28th, 2014 (0 Comments)

Here in downtown Boston, parking at a private garage runs $12 for the first hour or I can park at a mater for $1.25 an hour. It shouldn’t be a surprises that as a result of this below-market pricing, cars are circling (and circling) in hopes of landing a prime rock-bottom priced parking space? A controversial new app – Haystack – is trying to arbitrage off of this poor pricing. For a $3 fee, parking seekers are directed to about to be vacant meter spots. As a result, public officials are grappling whether to somehow ban these types of apps and drivers are wondering if it is ethical to “save” a parking space for others.

Please check out my latest piece for the Harvard Business Review which argues that the root of the problem is underpriced downtown meter rates. City officials should stop worrying about parking apps and instead focus on getting the price right for public parking spaces. 

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