By Lauren Drell
City dwellers know that searching for a parking spot is a major pain point, and it’s an issue that’s poised to worsen as more people flock to urban areas. Circling for a spot consumes time and gas, and it’s a major cause of gridlock in cities. In fact, approximately one-third of moving cars in cities are searching for parking.
That’s where Streetline — and its app, Parker — come in. Streetline offers hardware and software solutions for smart parking, and the system has been implemented in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York City, as well as in Birmingham and Manchester in the UK. Parking is a $25 billion industry, but it’s an antiquated one that’s seen little innovation over the past 30 years. Think about it — while many payments have gone mobile in the smartphone era, we’re still expected to drop nickels and dimes into parking meters (that are often broken). Parker has rolled out mobile payments in some cities (through ParkMobile and PayByPhone), and as more cities adopt high-tech parking technologies, we might all do pay-by-phone parking soon. But for the time being, the biggest benefit of Streetline’s system is that it helps drivers locate parking spots, which has had positive effects in several areas of city life, from lower emissions to improved traffic flow.