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The Almighty Buck Transportation Technology

In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot 427

trbdavies (979982) writes 'Only in San Francisco' used to refer to issues like whether public nudity should be restricted to certain hours of the day. Now I hear it most often in connection with the interplay between the city and tech companies. SF Weekly reports on one such development: 'Anyone who's visited San Francisco for 35 minutes knows that easy parking is a rare find. Enter Paolo Dobrowolny, an Italian tech bro who decided San Francisco was the perfect spot to test out his new experiment. Here's how it works: You find a parking spot, revel a little, let Monkey Parking know where you're located, and watch the bidding begin. Finally, give your spot to the wealthiest victim willing to pay the highest price for your spot. Drive away that much richer.'" Update: 05/08 15:52 GMT by T : I suspect that Dobrowolny's a tech pro, rather than bro, or at least that's what I suspect the Weekly meant to say.
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In SF: an App For Auctioning Off Your Public Parking Spot

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  • by crow ( 16139 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:20AM (#46949569) Homepage Journal

    I thought San Francisco already had dynamic parking prices to try to use market forces to keep parking available. They have devices to monitor parking utilization. The goal is to typically have one on-street parking spot open per block; somewhere around 85% utilization. If the block is consistently above that, the price increases. If it's below, the price lowers. They adjust the prices by $.25 every month.

    From the talk on this that I saw, they generally improved the availability of parking though the dynamic pricing. Employees who park every day would find the cheaper blocks to park on, leaving the busier blocks open for customers.

    Maybe the program isn't working as well as they claimed. Maybe the program isn't covering enough of the city, and the approach in the article is of more use in other parts.

  • Re: Vigilante (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 08, 2014 @11:26AM (#46949619)

    Sorry, we "Yuropeans" (what's that?) don't like rust. But we like spelling, grammar, busses, trains, (and economic cars), disarmed people, welfare, public healthcare, and everything else sane that scares America. Thank you.

  • Not legally questionable at all - you are being paid to vacate a spot, not resell anything you have purchased from the city.

    Not sure what you mean by "locating the bidder" - I assume you mean "locate the spot occupier who is auctioning the spot vacancy", which is far from easy as their location would be hidden behind the apps paywall (with the minimum information you would have up front being the general area the spot is located in, so you aren't bidding on something 10 miles away from where you want to visit), so you would have to win the auction, pay up and only then get the parking spots actual exact location.

    Besides, waiting on a public highway for anywhere up to an hour for a parking spot to be vacated isn't exactly what I would call "winning" in your scenario...

  • by The New Guy 2.0 ( 3497907 ) on Thursday May 08, 2014 @01:21PM (#46950949)

    Yep. violence may go along with this case... I was actually injured in a parking dispute, but it was the incident that arrested a team of fake police officers (or at least police in the wrong area, defying the commands of their chief) and the world is better for it.

    An incorrect "lot full" sign was posted at an entry ramp by these scam artists, and they then directed people to park at a restaurant that too few people wanted to eat at to be profitable. Then, a fake higher-than-the-real value ticket was issued. They then tried to get "wiretaps" that intercepted police complaints... yep, when you abuse police power, you're no longer a police officer at the moment of the offense! They really destroyed police credibility. Even if you wear a blue shirt with a logo, that's not a police uniform. (If it was, then Best Buy's shirts would be a problem!)

    The fight and coverage by WBZ Boston led to the arrests and scam over, which actually improved productivity in the Boston area by more people reporting to the office when expected... but it also busted a few companies that were used to paying an hourly employee less for working less hours. It solved several people's "always late" problems... but that also created the new problems. When you block transportation, you're also blocking whatever happens at the destination.

Evolution is a million line computer program falling into place by accident.