First there was MonkeyParking, which turned out to be totally illegal. Then last summer we heard about Zirx, the on-demand valet app which provided "agents" to park your car anywhere in SoMa for $15 they now provide oil-change services and other stuff, and cover roughly a quarter of the city, including all of downtown and Russian Hill, east of Fillmore. Now Business Insider describes the absurd tableau of warring parking apps battling for your valet dollar on downtown streets, some wear pink blazers, some in blue jackets, and Zirx agents in yellow.
Luxe Valets wear the blue jackets, and apparently zoom around on matching blue Razor scooters. They cover the whole city, and will pick up your car anywhere, and wash and fuel it if you ask, and the parking costs a maximum of $15 a day, using Luxe-leased garages around town.
Caarbon is another competitor, and their marketing image includes bright pink blazers and black umbrellas held aloft, even though it isn't raining. They're apparently changing their name to just Carbon soon, and they're still in beta. The Business Inside columnist noted that they're already aggressively out there marketing though, because just as she was handing off her keys to a Luxe Valet... "As I turned, suddenly a man in a bright pink blazer ran up and shoved a Caarbon flyer in my hand. 'Next time, park with Caarbon,' he said."
Jeez. Slow your roll, buddy.
But then there's another app, Upshift, which is for everyone who's too lazy to find a Zipcar or Relay Ride or traditional car rental. It's on-demand car rental, for those without cars, in which the car is delivered to you ("by bicycle") wherever you want it, and then you're allowed to leave it wherever when you're done with it though they're just rolling out as well, and currently their service area is limited to the Marina, Nob Hill, and part of Russian Hill.
This is all feeling a little like bubble-economy bullshit, no? Not that the woes of finding a parking space in San Francisco don't deserve some creative thinking. And no one likes dealing with car rental counters. But how many apps do we need? When is this going to end?