Startup Park Genius helps you feed the meter through your phone
Park Genius is a mobile app developed by three entrepreneurs coming out of the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program. The app allows motorists to pay for parking through their phone at the meter or remotely.
Co-founder, Thomas Maguire, explains that he and his two partners (Ross Shanken and Austin Weiss) came up with Park Genius through a simple class assignment-they were charged with creating a business in order to solve an existing problem and settled on the idea of parking meters with the ability to feed the meter remotely.
“It seemed like such an archaic way of doing things considering the technology available everywhere else. So we came up with the idea of automating the payment process by allowing motorists to pay for these meters through their smartphone,” Maguire explains.
To use the service, drivers simply need to download the free app (available both in the App Store and Google Play), set up a credit or debit card, put in their parking space number, select the duration, and press “Park.” Not only do motorists no longer need to carry endless amounts of coins, but the app also allows users to pay or extend their duration remotely. The app also gives a five minute warning to users before their time expires.
This app also provides a benefit for the parking providers as it works on existing hardware and communicates directly with enforcement officers. Maguire explains, “Park Genius gives parking providers the option to avoid purchasing expensive new hardware by offering its mobile solution on their existing hardware. This allows municipalities to provide a mobile payment option to their motorists without spending a dime on new machines.” Furthermore, Maguire states that by adding mobile payments, parking providers will obtain a 30 percent parking revenue increase.
According to Maguire, the biggest hurdle they face is testing the app on existing hardware. To date, the team has only been able to test their app at a private lot near the university granted by the Marshall Foundation.
“That was a major milestone for us,” he states. “We were able to test our application’s strength and grow a supportive base of users before going in front of the City of Tucson with our proposal.”
Now, Park Genius has even bigger plans for the future. They hope to expand from the current operation of 200 meters in Tucson, Arizona to a formal long-term contract which would include all 1400 machines throughout the entire city of Tucson. They also hope to expand to other cities and states and are working to gather the resources and the capital necessary to grow.
To learn more about Park Genius click here.
Photos provided by Park Genius