EghtesadOnline: Two Tehran-based startups have created Internet-based platforms to help drivers with the onerous task of finding an empty parking space in the bustling capital and its packed streets and alleys.
One of the startups 'BiPark' enables drivers to book a parking place in public and private parking lots using the firm’s website (bipark.ir). Its smartphone application available for Android and iOS devices, stshow.ir news website reported.
The mobile application is available for download on the firm's website and the local Android market Cafe Bazaar.
To book a parking space, drivers can choose from public and private parking areas throughout the city, which collaborate with BiPark, and pay the parking fee online after determining the time and duration that the space is needed, Financial Tribune reported.
A similar startup is Alopark which started work last year. Providing drivers with the same services, the platform works both through its website alopark.com, and an application designed for Android and iOS devices. The app can be downloaded from the firm’s website and Cafe Bazaar.
Dozens of startups offer similar services in other countries. Roost, Smarking, ParkiFi, ParkWhiz, Luxe, and SpotHero are among the US-based startups with more or less similar services. They also enable users to search around their location on an interactive map, to both find and share free parking spaces with other drivers.
More than four million vehicles commute on Tehran’s roads, a figure that according to Tehran Municipality is eight times over and above the nominal capacity.
Streets of the capital are almost always clogged and with thousands of new cars joining the overcrowded city on a daily basis, things are expected to get much worse before they get better.
On commentator said years back that Tehran in its entirety would soon become a monstrous parking lot. With public transport terribly failing to deliver and the bureaucracy in the municipality married to incompetence and inefficiency, it seems the time is here!
Startups like BiPark and Alopark can come in handy to at least alleviate the tough (some say impossible) task of finding a parking space.
Earlier in June, Tehran Municipality introduced a plan that should allow motorists use their mobile phones to book a parking space by making an online payment.
At the time, head of the Transport Commission of Tehran City Council, Mohammad Alikhani said, “No further parking meters will be installed in Tehran, and from now on, street parking is set to be regulated through apps and online infrastructure provided by technology firms.”
In case a place is occupied without a booking receipt, the driver will have to pay a fine, Alikhani said. The municipality-backed online system, however, is yet to become operational.
Regarding the existing parking meters, he said there are no plans so far to remove the meters from across the city and the replacements will be made when the need arises.