New cellphone app helps tackle Austin parking woes

Parking in Austin can sometimes be a nightmare, but a new cellphone application, ParXit, is hoping to help solve the parking problem.

The iPhone version of the app launched three days ago and the android version will be available this weekend.

"You have the ability to find your spot, you have the ability to list your spot," said Justin Newlin who is part of the executive team for ParXit.

Finding a vacant parking spot in crowded neighborhoods like the one near Zilker Park during festival weekends is no easy task.

"Every event they have, whether it's Blues on the Green, Austin City Limits, South By Southwest, you name it. It's just, there's always an event here. There's rarely ever a week where there's not an event and just incredible parking, just unimaginable," said James Norris who lives in the Zilker Park neighborhood.

That's something Newlin has experienced more than he cares to.

"I think we've all experienced if we've lived in Austin or any downtown areas of any urban environment the challenges that comes with parking and how it can really shift your day a little bit if you're running late to stuff," said Newlin.

Now that Newlin has helped startup ParXit, he's hoping the days of his parking woes are long gone.

"ParXit attempts to solve the parking problem, or help the parking problem, is to open up all the spots that are available," said Newlin.

The app allows property owners to rent out available parking to those willing to pay the price.

"I can list my spot on the ParXit app, or my driveway, my parking spot, take a photo of it, put the address of where it is in and when someone needs a parking spot, they can find it based on their geolocation, where they are right now," said Newlin. 

The owner of the spot lists their price and the renter can accept the fee and reserve the spot before they even get to their location.

"As you can see, we have a five dollar an hour spot, a two dollar an hour spot and then I can click on one of the spots and it gives me a snapshot of where it's at," Newlin said explaining the application.  

Neighbors near Zilker Park hope that the idea can help get some cars off the street.

"I'm sure it would be helpful and I think people should be given all the rights with their property and with making money in hard times and all that," said Norris. 

However, there are some skeptics.

"It seems like it could go to different problems over that. Fights over whose parking lot this is and that, so I don't know if that's going to be the solution," said Mike Toth who also lives in the Zilker Park neighborhood.

ParXit developers said over the last three days they have already had a good amount of activity on the app. They are hoping to eventually expand the idea to other fast-growing cities.

Neighbors and creators hope this is a step in the right direction when it comes to parking accessibility.

"How can everybody win? How can the parker win? How can the people who have parking win? And how the city can do something about the parking problem?" said Newlin. 

The ParXit company takes a 15 percent cut of each transaction. The app can be used all over the City of Austin.
 

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