The Market System: Parking Ideas

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 27, 2012    •    616 Views

Sort of like lunch, there is no such thing as a free parking space. It costs us dollars or time.

Hoping to optimize so valuable a commodity, some cities are installing parking devices that use demand and supply to price spots. The approach resembles a variable pricing model where a good becomes more expensive when less is available.  Others, concerned about the time we waste have apps that instantaneously identify empty parking spaces.

Now, we can add Parking Panda.

Like any market maker, Parking Panda pairs people with parking spots and those who need them. Anyone who has a parking spot can enroll. You might own an office building with a lot that is unused over the weekend or have a home with a driveway you would like to monetize. Whatever the reason, by enrolling with Parking Panda, someone looking for parking can find you.

Our bottom Line:  Isn’t it fascinating how the market system, with no direction from government, can satisfy people’s needs and make a community more efficient?

Sources and Resources: Thanks to Slate where I first learned about Parking Panda. Also, here is the classic Donald Shoup paper, “The High Cost of Free Parking,” an econlife post on San Francisco parking solutions, and a recent NY Times article on their progress.

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