No one likes to search for an available parking space, especially during peak traffic hours or when you’re running behind schedule. As the amount of pedestrians and cars moving in and around the Michigan Central Station area rises, traffic becomes increasingly congested. This issue is widespread: it costs Americans $73 billion a year in wasted time, fuel, and emissions to search for available parking spaces. Many studies to address this parking problem have found there is actually an abundance of parking; it’s just not available to the public.
A September article in the Detroit Free Press reported the local problem of excess pavement from developer incentives and parking minimums. “Surface parking lots have ‘spread like a disease’ and are ‘threatening to undermine Detroit's resurgence.’” In October, it was reported in the Detroit Metro Times that a historic building is scheduled for demolition to accommodate 12 parking spaces.
FlexePark, a shared parking management solution, was born from this frustration; one of its founders was driving in circles for a downtown parking spot, finding many private spaces unoccupied but off limits. FlexePark can improve mobility for Corktown residents and workers by making available additional parking spaces that were once designated as private or “No Parking” zones without the need to create new, expensive parking structures or lots.
FlexePark collaborates with municipalities to find efficient parking and enforcement solutions that do not use taxpayer money. Securing existing pavement near the QLINE, People Mover, buses and electric scooters creates an accessible, affordable and environmentally-friendly way to get around town.
FlexePark can also improve mobility for every driver through its simple pay-to-park user interface, which does not require to download any app, rendering the solution practical for visitors or for people with older phones. Drivers use their phone camera (to scan a QR code) for registering a car and paying electronically to park, and the 24/7 helpline is always available.
The all-in-one parking management service, powered by patent-pending technology, makes it possible for property owners - which can be as small a “business” as a driveway - to share their existing parking spaces for public use after their business is closed for the day. The owner console provides businesses with tools for marketing, promotion and management of parking users, and they receive supplemental income from a percentage of sales.
Because there is no shortage of pavement available in and around Detroit, FlexePark can grow with demand to make mobility easy, simple and efficient. FlexePark will also offer pay-to-park service during special events and expand in-app promotional capabilities, offering paid opportunities for businesses to reach people who are in the right place at the right time.