Monkey Parking is an app which allows users to auction the on-street public parking space their car currently occupies to the highest bidder. The app is available for iOS devices and in described as “The first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot” in the Apple iTunes App Store.
The Monkey Parking app could be of use for people who want to be assured of a perfect parking spot downtown. For example, Suzy is shopping and knows she will return home at about 6 PM. Harry has made dinner reservations at 6:30 PM at a downtown restaurant. Harry sees Suzy’s spot on the app and decides that he wants to ‘buy’ her parking space. Suzy wait until Harry arrives and as she leaves the spot, Harry parks his vehicle.
Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? The City of San Francisco doesn’t think so…
San Francisco Attorney Dennis Herrare issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking. It seems the app violates a section of the San Francisco’s Police Code which prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking. This means that the Monkey Parking business model is based on illegal transactions.
Herrera said: “It’s illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for r $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate. Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely—to engage in online bidding wars while driving. People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so. But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit."