Haystack App Tries to “Sell” Public Parking – Shut Down by City of Boston

On Street ParkingHaystack was a start-up app that connected people looking for an on-street parking spot with people leaving their parking spot.  Once  Vehicle A took over the spot from Vehicle B, Vehicle A paid Vehicle B and Haystack took a little commission.

Planet Money did a four minute podcast about Haystack being shutdown and the Boston Globe ran a follow-up article on why it’s illegal.  Legally, it’s like someone standing outside of Central Park and trying to charge you admission to go into the free, publicly maintained park.

Haystack identified a real existing problem with public parking and developed a clever, free market solution.  I agree with shutting them down though based on the Massachusetts law governing parking meters that was cited in the Boston Globe post.

A much, much better solution would be if cities would implement the dynamic price parking meter system Carnegie Mellon developed.

Photo Credit:  Streets.mn

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