How does making $5 a day for little to no effort sound to you? Thanks to an app that is being officially launched in Tauranga for the first time, this could be the reality for Tauranga residents. Reporter Jean Bell looks into the new app on the block.
Motorvehiclists can rejoice and say good-bye to circling around for a spare park as a new parking app comes to Tauranga.
• 'Airbnb for parking' startup raises $4.6m in round lead by Spark
• Free parking for Tauranga's main shopping areas mooted
• Free parking not the answer to reviving Tauranga CBD, city leaders told
• Premium - Tauranga CBD: Mayor says more to be done than free parking
Parking app Parkable has officially been launched, with one Mount Maunganui shopping centre already reaping the benefits.
Parkable charges $1 per hour or $5 for a full day, and the first 30 minutes are free. Payment is made through a credit card or phone like the Uber app. Users can also reserve a car park ahead of time.
After launching in Auckland in 2015, the app is now in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Warwick Beauchamp, co-founder of Parkable, said the app was designed to make use of underutilised parking spaces, such as clubs, churches, supermarkets and vacant building car parks which could be left empty during the day.
People could even post their driveway as a parking space on the app.
He said people could drive straight to the free park rather than having to hunt for a park because people knew where their free park was in advance.
"That's less carbon being burnt and less time being wasted."
'There's something not quite right': Investigation into Tauranga transport hub
Why Mount CBD has more vacant shops than usual
Regarding car safety and security when parking in someone's driveway using the app, he said was already a risk when someone parked their car in a public park or street. He said it was a win-win outcome for both parties involved, as it looked like someone was home for the homeowner and the driver had a space to park.
The company was also working towards making a car pooling app.
Mount Maunganui residents, Amelia Curry and Sherie Curry, both said the app sounded like a good idea.
Amelia said she and her grandmother had already used the app to use the Mount Central carpark.
"It's quite easy to do and there's not much to it. It'll be good for times you just want to park and go."
Sherie said the app could be good news for visitors to the are and she would use the Parkable app to rent out the family's driveway if their driveway could accommodate it.
"I'd think it was awesome if I was a person driving into the Mount."
When it came to using the app to park in someone else's driveway, she was less enthusiastic.
"The biggest thing would be concerns around security and wondering whether your car would be safe."
Ahi Kā Assets Limited property manager, Emily Gudsell, manages the Mount Central shopping centre at 223 Maunganui Rd.
Mount Central's car park had been exclusively for Parkable users since September, and Gudsell believed the accessible and affordable parking apps system was the way of the future.
"It's the new real estate."
She said a car park monitor was employed during the day to give people information on how the car park and app worked. Cars were not towed unless they repeatedly used a park without paying.
"We want to promote a culture of honesty and helpfulness rather than harsh threats, enforcement fines, or towing," she said.
She said the company was also looking at using the space to host community or fundraising events for free.
Pita Pit Mount Maunganui manager Vince Nelson said customers were "really stoked" with the cost of Parkable.
He said parking was in hot demand in the Mount Maunganui town area, especially during the holiday period and he expected the Parkable app to ease up supply.
Tauranga City Council manager of network safety and sustainability, Martin Parkes, said the council believed the app was a useful tool.
He said the council had completed a pilot for the council's Spring St parking building and it was looking at the results to determine potential next steps.