Miami, as a metropolis, is growing up like Miley Cyrus post-Hannah Montana: fast. Maybe too fast.
With growing pains like this (and a lack of public transportation) come parking woes. Wynwood's seen the worst of it lately, with city officials and business owners playing political ping-pong on the issue.
All of this recent hubbub makes the introduction of ParkJockey a serious blessing for Miami's road warriors. So long parking hell, hello app-for-that.
See also: Wynwood Parking Is the "Wild, Wild West"
ParkJockey launched back in December of last year with Miami as its first city. They're headquartered in Midtown, and definitely a part of the city's tech boom.
The app is available on Android and iPhone, and basically allows anyone to pre-reserve and pre-pay for parking anytime, anywhere. The company is officially partnered with the Miami Heat (because we all know what parking at a Heat game is like) -- which is sure to make life easier when this season.
"It's very simple -- you open up the app or website and search. We have location and event-based search. So you could search for American Airlines Arena or Wynwood or III Points, then the app will pull up the closest locations in the area at the best rates. It's one touch parking," says Scott Rosen, General Manager for ParkJockey Miami.
"When you first register we ask certain basic questions like, do you like to valet, how far are you willing to walk, do you want covered parking, etc. It gives us a baseline. Then as you book our algorithm learns about you -- where you want to park, the situations you're looking for, etc."
Clearly ParkJockey doesn't work for street spots, but it does work with a whole host of local lots. Super convenient if you don't want to deal with driving in circles looking for an garage that won't gouge you.
"We probably have about 100 locations with access to 15,000 spaces. We have lots from as far south as Coconut Grove to as far north as Port Canaveral," says Rosen. And they're adding more every day.
There's no fee for users to download or use the app, and parking rates are the same as if you paid cash on site.
Prices are determined by the lots themselves and they're varied, as Miami parking fees are wont to be. But the prices are also adjusted in real-time. So, if you pay $15 on your app, and then you arrive and the lot is charging $10 (say it's in the middle of a hurricane), you're automatically refunded the extra $5.
So basically, this app actually does what technology was supposed to do for us all along (but didn't): make life easier.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahgetshappy.
Send your story tips to Cultist at email@example.com.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.