App Startup Idea #132: Parking App (using Twilio API)


This was written specific to City of Buffalo, NY, but really this should be built for any city. Here’s my idea, it’s yours, please go execute and build it!

We need a mobile parking app that allows you to see if you can park in that spot, or on that side of the street, and also when you can’t park there — also the app will show you were parking tickets get most often reported (via our app; and maybe there is open city data with that info too!).

Here’s how it works: $0.99 app (or other biz model). Shows the map, shows a number on each street in a circle — click on that and it gives info on reported tickets on that street. You can also see the rules for the street, either side — maybe each side of street is in red or green, to show if you can park there right now; also you click on the side of street to get full rules of the street. You could also have it set an alarm for you at 8am or something as a reminder to ‘move your car’. The reported tickets on the street will say ‘5 tickets reported on this street in last 30 days’ ’12 in last 90 days’.

The other part of the app is to be a good samaritan and notify someone that their car ‘is on wrong side of street’, ‘needs to be moved’, … a drop-down of options, no freeform text. You input the car’s license plate #. If the license plate is a registered user of our app, they receive a text saying, “Heads up from a good samaritan: your car is parked illegally”. We only send one text every hour (using twilio) — thus if multiple users identify the illegally parked car, only one text is sent. The end-user can then ‘thank’ the users that alerted him/her. Could be anonymous, or you could share your info. I think anonymous is the way to go though.

Also, if you get a ticket, you report that into the system. Good for the people to know, so that we can see if something fishy is going on with the parking police — maybe the signs are faded, or confusing, and hence why so many tickets are occurring each day.

The parking police can’t mess with this idea! Power to the people!