Remember MonkeyParking, the jerky parking app that was run out of San Francisco after SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera said that its business was ”wholly premised on illegal transactions.” Well, now they're in trouble in Los Angeles, as LAist's Jean Trinh reports.
Parking already makes us feel like angry Hulk ready to smash something as we waste precious hours of our lives looking for a spot. There are smartphone apps out there that could make this even worse: they allow folks to auction off their public parking spots to the highest bidders (ahem...the ones who can afford it). Thankfully, L.A. is working on banning these type of apps.
The L.A. City Council asked the City Attorney to draft a law that would ban apps like MonkeyParking and Haystack, according to the L.A. Daily News.
"These predatory parking apps allow mobile phone users to squat on public parking spaces and auction them off to the highest bidder," a motion passed by the City Council said. "(It) threatens to further reduce the availability of street parking in many Los Angeles neighborhoods that already suffer from too few parking options."
The people who use the apps auction off the spots as they're leaving and share the earnings they make with the company. For MonkeyParking, on average a parking spot costs about $5 to $7, and the company gets a 20 percent cut out of it. According to KPCC, the company even hires people to drive around looking for empty spots and snagging them for the app.
Other cities like San Francisco and Boston already have similar bans in place. When San Francisco's city attorney Dennis Herrera issued a cease and desist order to Rome-based MonkeyParking in June, the company refused to comply, saying that what they were doing wasn't illegal, but the following month they disabled their app in the Bay Area.
After getting kicked out of San Francisco, MonkeyParking decided to set their sights on Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and L.A. County. However, it looks like they may need to move again as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica have recently issued similar bans.