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Fetchpark is a transponder-based, app-complemented, automated parking service that alleviates the stress of city parking.
Basically, we thought that the parking meter/meter maid tag team was ripe for replacement, and not just with a glorified kiosk or crappy app.
We believe that if huge swaths of the US of A (and the often molasses-slow municipalities who run them) can get on board with E-ZPass and FasTrak, then city parking can change, too.
Why are YOU doing this?
I (Tom Olson,) am a serial traveler and entrepreneur, and have run several street-based businesses, so I know the pitfalls of city parking first-hand. My team and I are fortunate to have the engineering, design, and entrepreneurial background to do something about it (not to mention the gumption, we suppose).
How does it work (technically speaking)?
You asked for it. Fetchpark works similarly to your E-ZPass/FasTrak: participating municipalities (and we have a couple lined up, thank you very much) will install highly affordable sensor technology onto street corners. This technology will communicate with the RFID in your Fetchpark transponder, charging you for the time you're actually parked in the spot. That's it; no hoarder-style repository of quarters in your car; no middle-aged, balding dudes administering tickets in short shorts. And did we mention no more tickets, period?
What other solutions to the parking problem are out there?
Not much. Sadly, the app-based services on the market still rely on manual data entry, clunky controls, and bureaucratic pandemonium.
That's the beauty of the transponder: because it's RFID, it's entirely automatic. It doesn't even need a battery. It's a fully automated parking experience.
"Autopay and walk away," we call it.
Sounds pretty ambitious. How are you going to roll this out?
The same way you eat an elephant: one big, chewy bite at a time. Or in our case, one municipality at a time.
Our very first demo will be in Providence, Rhode Island, but from there, the sky...erm, road is the limit.
How much will a transponder cost?
We're focused on a retail cost of $25: Cheap enough to be accessible; more than worth it to put an end to parking stress - forever.
... But I love meter maids.
Yeah, we think "Lovely Rita" is a totally awesome song, too. But we've had more than enough of:
1) Tickets.
2) Wasting time.
3) Quarter-hoarding.
4) Inconvenience.
5) Being late.
6) Lost opportunity.
You get the point.
Have you been downtown lately (wherever you live)? Chances are, your parking experience was more or less the same as what your grandparents did in the Eisenhower administration. We think that's bass ackwards at a time when cities badly need fresh life breathed into them.
The bottom line: parking is a massive global frustration in need of a modern, automated solution.