There is really only one app this currently applies to and that’s MonkeyParking. MonkeyParking recently moved into the areas of Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and Los Angeles and definitely ruffled some feathers. They arrive with plenty of baggage too. To begin with, the were basically run out of their home town, San Francisco, because people there didn’t have a stomach for private citizens selling and/or renting out public parking spots. Unfortunately for MonkeyParking, it doesn’t look like Los Angeles is too fond of the idea either.
Council member Mike Bonin recently put through a motion to outlaw parking-sale apps in Los Angeles. Bonin contends this is, “extortion masquerading as the sharing economy.” Ouch.
The sharing economy Bonin refers to has spawned numerous mega-services that have revolutionized industry today. These include such companies and sharing apps as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. Many of these same sharing apps are also entangled in their own form of litigation and regulatory battles throughout the country.
Our generation's desire to shake things up and “share” doesn’t always go over well with those that feel some of these innovations go too far. Hey, I like to share, but I’m not to happy about my neighbor subletting her apartment and I end up having to deal with people partying all night on a weekday. Plus, they didn’t even invite me to the party. How rude.
MonkeyParking CEO Paolo Dobrowolny, says his app is not trying to make it more difficult to park and would actually help LA to better align the value of the parking spots. He claims his company would work to prevent greedy sellers sitting on spots for exorbitant amounts of time and is willing to work with cities for revenue-sharing agreements. That sounds like something LA would be all about, especially if they lose some of the revenue from their parking ticket cash cow.
At this point though, if the city of Los Angeles did flip-flop and allow such apps after banning them simply because there were getting a piece of the profits, it would look awfully bad for someone. With that said, it wouldn’t be the first time money trumped politics. We will have to wait and see if MonkeyParking has enough clout to make it’s vision of the shared-parking future a reality in Los Angeles.