San Francisco Residents Rent Unused Parking Spaces

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

As someone who lives in the city, I understand the importance of having a prime parking spot. I also know it’s impossible to land one each and every day no matter how much luck you think you have. But what about the small number of folks who live in the city that may have a garage or even a driveway that goes unused? Isn’t there a way they can help out a neighbor who could really use the space while at the same time making a little money to put in their pocket? Turns out, there’s an app for that (shocking, right?).

Launched in 2013, SpotOn Parking lets homeowners and businesses rent out their unused garages, driveways, and parking lots to drivers in need. SpotOn, who is aiming to increase the supply of parking in San Francisco, has three main sources of inventor including homeowners, commercial lots, and businesses, churches, schools, or other organizations throughout the city.

Currently, the company has access to more than 500 spaces in the city and offers drivers two different payment options. Drivers looking to pay by the hour can use a smartphone app to locate a spot, check-in and out, and pay with their credit card. Rates range from $2.50 to $3.50 per hour with a $10-$12 maximum for 12 hours, according to a story at

The second option is an “all you can park” subscription which allows drivers to pay a monthly fee for a guaranteed spot near their home or office. The monthly fees vary be neighborhood and range from $150-$400 per month. In addition, SpotOn subscribers also have the luxury of using any other space in the network if they running errands or cruising around the city. To make money, SpotOn typically collects a 30 percent cut of parking revenue.

Although there is much government red tape to cut through with regards to parking regulations, the start-up has garnered much support within the community and is confident it will be able to reach an agreement with the city government.

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