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'Airbnb for parking': New app aims to help UA students with parking near campus

Matching drivers with parking in neighborhoods
New parking help near UA
New parking help near UA
Posted at 4:18 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 10:23:50-04

Parking is a perpetual problem around the University of Arizona. Sometimes desperate students park illegally in nearby neighborhoods and end up with stiff tickets.

Now a new company's offering a way for drivers to park near campus and for homeowners to make some cash for parking spots they're not using.

One of the first things students learn when they come to UA is just how hard it is to find a parking space but just outside the campus boundaries, there's a world of empty driveways. But the trick is matching those prime parking spots with drivers desperate for a place to plant their cars.

Now a company called AirGarage is helping drivers reserve parking and helping homeowners make some cash from their empty driveways. Businesses and churches with extra parking can offer space too.

AirGarage CEO Jonathon Barkl says, “When the homeowners list their spot, they actually wind up getting 97% of whatever price they list for. So if they list for 50 bucks, they're going to get like $48 out of that. And then we actually charge our fee to the driver for helping them find a parking space. So we charge them a small fee for using the platform and for safety and security."

ASU students founded AirGarage in Tempe. Now they're expanding to Tucson and other university towns in Colorado, California and Texas.

After just a few days at UA, Brandon Ramos is ready for some parking help.

"It's really hard finding parking and paying for parking and all the parking structures here and everything's permitted so it really hard."

Ndekla Sakala knows parking can be very expensive. She says she has three spaces at home and she'd be happy to help students who need a break on parking and costs.

“I think it'd be a really great like mutually beneficial thing and like I because the way I think a lot of my work is with students right now so if anyone had any issues with like income then I would also like work that out in case there were like on a Pell grants or like work-study or anything like that. So I think it could be beneficial for a lot of different types of people."

And for a lot of students the biggest benefit is the chance to stop searching for parking and just get to class.