Obviously, you can’t sell public property, but Monkey Parking, an app that lets users auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to other motorists, apparently did not get the memo. Until now.
The app, which has gained immense popularity in the parking space-challenged city of San Francisco, just received a cease-and-desist order from City Attorney Dennis Herrera.
“Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions,” Herrera said. “People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so. But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit.”
How it works
Secure yourself a parking spot in a busy street, where a slot is good as gold, then auction off that spot to the highest bidder. The winner gets your parking space just as you pull out.
While this may be a good way to make some extra cash while helping a stranger park their car, it presents opportunities for greedy people to take public spaces as their own. Just imagine the mafia taking the city’s prime parking spaces as hostages. Complete anarchy!
The Rome-based startup has been given until July 11 to comply or face a lawsuit from the city. Anyone caught using the app could be charged up to $300 under a law that prohibits public parking spaces from being sold, bought, or leased off.
For helping facilitate the crime, Monkey Parking will then pay $2,500 per offense. Yikes!