Monthly Archives: September, 2015

FreeMovieWeek

Free Movie Week

September 29th, 2015 Posted by Parking, promotions No Comment yet

We now introduce to you Free Movie Week! Starring in this fantastic promotion is your friendly-neighborhood parking platform, ParqEx! (please hold your applause until the end of the post).

We want you to enjoy the magic of movies without having to stress over parking. This week, we’re offering a 25% discount on any ParqEx parking spot along with a free movie ticket to see a showing at AMC 21 River East. Only 5 tickets available so please make sure to redeem as soon as possible! Here’s how to redeem:

  1. Use the promo code FREEMOVIE when booking your parking spot
  2. Once confirmed, we will email you a movie voucher good for one free movie
  3. Click below to get started!

The only stipulation is that you must have a regular sized automobile (no RVs, Campers, Over-sized trucks, etc)

Click Here to Redeem

 

How Smart Tech is Changing Urban Driving and Parking for the Better

How Smart Tech is Changing Urban Driving and Parking for the Better

September 24th, 2015 Posted by mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

When you live in Chicago, the third largest city in the country with close to 3 million people — and when your city attracts 40 million visitors annually — it’s not surprising that parking can be a huge challenge (or hugely expensive). However, innovations in technology — particularly in mobile apps and the Internet of Things — are working to make driving and parking in cities like Chicago less of a nightmare.

A Primer on IoT: Why It Is Such a Big Deal

The premise behind the Internet of Things is simple: take sensors and all of the latest technology we use to communicate (WIFI, BlueTooth, RFID tags, beacons, apps, etc.) and embed them in the common objects of daily life. Not only do these common objects gain new functionality, but they add new streams of data that can be used to make our environments smarter.

Although the concept is quick to grasp, the application of it — i.e. seeing all of its potential uses — is what society is just beginning to explore. Some say we’re at the first flickers of a massive wildfire of tech change. As this article from Harvard researcher Laura Adler notes, IoT use, as measured by IoT connections, is predicted to increase four-fold by 2020.

Smarter Cars and Cities Means Smarter (and Happier) Drivers

One simple but exciting use of IoT is between traffic lights and drivers. Technology now exists, and is actively being employed, in which a traffic light sends a signal to an app in a driver’s phone and alerts him or her when it is about to turn green. Cities are already applying this tech to stop the traffic delays that occur because distracted drivers aren’t noticing the green light.

Eventually, such an alert system will not require an app on the person’s phone. Traffic lights, thanks to smart car technology, will be able to communicate directly with the car, and the car will send the alert when the light is about to change.

The V2V Revolution

V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) smart technology, which allows cars to communicate with each other in real-time using sensors and computers, is just beginning to spread. GM, for example, has already completed a fleet of Cadillacs that are fully functioning V2V. This means:

  • When you’re about to change lanes, the car sweeps the road nearby with its sensors, and if it detects a car in your blind spot an alarm sounds and your seat buzzes so that you do not steer into the car.
  • The car prevents a rear-end collision by analyzing your speed and using sensors to detect cars on the road in front of you. If it sees that you’re about to rear-end a car, it sounds an alarm and automatically (and smoothly) applies the brake to avoid the collision.
  • When you’re about to change lanes, the car uses its sensors to see if any other cars are coming up fast in the lane next to you and alerts you so that you don’t steer into the speeding car.

GM has noted that there are 800,000 blind-spot accidents each year, and V2V’s potentially enormous boost to driver safety has inspired the Department of Transportation, as Wired noted, to make V2V tech mandatory for all cars. It has already begun working with car manufacturers to realize the dream.

Can I Really Use an App to Reserve a Private Parking Space (or Rent How Smart Tech is Changing Urban Driving and Parking for the BetterYour Space for Extra Income) in Chicago? Absolutely.

Some IoT applications have begun using sensors to alert drivers when a parking space in the city has opened up. The goal is to make the parking spot-hunting process more efficient. Although it helps drivers know where to find open parking spots, it doesn’t always guarantee a parking spot. Sure, you can track the availability of the spot, but at the last second just before you arrive there, someone else could take it.

The sensor, in other words, doesn’t hold the spot for you. IoT has its limits, and this is where well-developed apps with large networks of users can take over and drastically reduce the hassle of hunting for a parking spot in Chicago.

The app ParqEx, for example, locates privately owned parking spots in the city and uses ParqEx’s large network of users to allow you to reserve an ideal parking spot in advance and be as specific as month, week, day, or hour. Or you can use the app to rent out your parking space. That’s right, you can become the landlord of a parking spot and earn extra income.

If you love technology innovation as much as we do, especially when it makes your travel experience in Chicago easier, contact us to learn more about Parqex.

Consider This: Your Vacant Parking Spot in Chicago Could Help Pay the Rent

September 17th, 2015 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Feature, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

You love Chicago, but the rent is killing you.

According to YardiMatrix, the average monthly rent in Chicago is $1,628. Rents grew nationwide, on a year-over-year basis, by 6.5% in the last year, so there’s no relief in sight.

If you are feeling the financial pinch of high rent, you’re going to have to get creative.

Take on a roommate or three? Well, maybe. You have thought about it, but then you take a look around your place and start imagining: pizza stains on the wall, strange wall-banging in the night, and a doesn’t-know-when-to-quit-talking stranger who hogs your favorite chair.

Maybe not.

Here’s a concept:

Rent out your garage or parking space.

People are out there right now who need a place to park in your neighborhood. If you live in a popular area such as Bucktown, Near Northside, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park/West Town or The Loop, they are especially desperate for a spot.

If your space is vacant—for an hour, a week, a month or long term—it’s a hot commodity. Maybe it’s time you turned that commodity into cash, creatively.

MEET PARQEX, THE PEER TO PEER PARKING APPSpot in Chicago Could Help Pay the Rent

ParqEx is the peer to peer parking app that allows people who need parking to find people who have parking. We provide a user-friendly online marketplace that matches registered members who own parking spots (Owners) with members who want to use them.

Download the app to your android or smartphone device and you are instantly connected to hundreds of people who are searching for a parking spot.

TELL ME ABOUT THE MONEY

You set the price for your parking space. Prices vary by time, demand, location and other factors. You can use the app to see what other people are charging for similar spots to get an idea of the going rate.

You earn 80% of the rent money your parking spot earns. At the end of every month, the income is deposited into your account, or if you want to receive a check in the mail, allow an extra 15 days.

SAFETY

Not sure you want to rent your space to just anybody? The good news is that you don’t have to. At ParqEx we check and approve accounts, but in the end, you decide. Rent your space or not, it’s up to you.

We recently added an in-app chat feature (proof that we listen—this came as a result of app user feedback), that allows you to communicate with a prospect before committing, and after, to pin down all the details. This kind of personal connection sets ParqEx apart from the competition.

PRIVACY

Your privacy is protected… we promise! Your information is safe and secure with us. Only the people you approve will receive your personal data. But don’t take our word for it, check out our Privacy Policy.

CONVENIENCE

What if you listed your space as available, but decide to stay home and sink into your couch and Netflix?

Or what if your friends show up at your door with that road-trip look in their eyes and you get the feeling that your parking space might be vacant for, well, quite a while?

Not a problem—with ParqEx you can add or subtract your space from the list instantly.

In addition, we’re all about parking and only about parking at ParqEx. Unlike Craig’s List or the classifieds, you won’t have to share space with Go Pros and baby strollers.

LET’S TALK

ParqEx lives in Chicago too—at 111 West Illinois Street.

If you want more info, contact us and we’ll talk about how you’re going to turn your blank space into cash.

And while you’re making creative cash by renting out your parking space, try Elizabeth Atkinson’s 10 Things to Do for a Dollar in Chicago.

We’ll see you at Lillie’s Q.

How the Sharing Economy Found Parking

September 10th, 2015 Posted by Community, Feature, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, sharing economy No Comment yet

If you had to choose to between paying full price for a product or to paying less for a similar product rented from a stranger on the Internet, which would you take? That’s the concept driving the push for the sharing economy.

The sharing economy includes services like Airbnb, Uber, and Lyft, and is turning many traditional industries on their heads. In New York City, the value of taxi medallions are dropping rapidly and taxi owners are protesting Uber’s growing market. The impact Uber and its competitor, Lyft, have are so big that the city is launching a rival app called Arro that functions similar to popular ride sharing apps only it’s strictly for NYC taxi cabs.

Taxi alternatives aren’t the only businesses disrupting traditional industries with the sharing economy. Airbnb is another key player in the “gig economy.” Airbnb is a rapidly growing service that turns spare bedrooms into hotel rooms. The service is so popular it just received $1.5 billion in funding to pursue growth in China.How the Sharing Economy Found Parking

What is driving the growth behind the sharing economy? Despite being around for several years now, websites like TaskRabbit and Elance haven’t seen nearly the growth that services like Uber and Airbnb are experiencing now. One explanation for why these services are so popular is their ability to rent out items that would otherwise go unused. It’s a passive way to make extra money.

Businesses in the sharing economy space seem to be catering to the college-aged crowd. Who other than a millennial would be willing to jump in a car with a stranger and stay overnight in another stranger’s spare room? Using the sharing economy is becoming part of everyday life for college students.

Another way college students are capitalizing on the sharing economy is with parking spaces. In Chicago, where some parking spots have a monthly rate similar to that of a small studio apartment, Parqex is making a big splash.

For owners, the app allows people with spare parking spaces the opportunity to make money with their unused spaces. The renting process is fairly quick and simple. Users enter the address of the available spot, upload a picture or two of the space, choose availability times, and then set the rate. Parqex’s system is flexible enough to allow people who commute away from the city during the day to rent out their spots to students who coming in to the city.

For renters, commuting to the colleges and universities can be a hassle but finding a parking spot just got easier. After you download the app, enter the address of your school to find which parking spots are available nearby. The app is also flexible for people looking to rent. Rather than committing to a parking spot for a month at a time, Parqex lets you rent the spot only for the time you need. It’s similar to paying for metered parking spot only now you know the spot will be there.

Sharing parking spaces is a logical move for the sharing economy. Now, not only can Uber driving millennials rent out their spare room, they can also rent out their parking spot while they’re working.

One of the more interesting aspects of the sharing economy is how everyday people who drive for Uber and rent out with Airbnb find new ways to keep customer interested in their services. Uber drivers are known to offer bottled water, maybe a snack, and always the aux cord to their passengers. Some drivers even install fun lighting systems for the nighttime crowd. On Airbnb, people renting out their spare room will go to extra lengths to make sure the stay is comfortable. Airbnb rooms are often redecorated and furnished with wall art and mini fridges to attract visitors. Some Airbnb locations even offer free breakfast.

When this attitude and spunk reaches the parking space sharing economy, can we expect fancy parking spot lighting and windshield washer fluid top-offs? Who’s to say.

For more information about how Parqex works, contact us today.

ParqEx: The Trials of Parking at the University

The Trials of Parking at the University

September 3rd, 2015 Posted by Car, Community, Parking, ParqEx, Safety No Comment yet

Jenny is running late for class…again.  She knows full well that she should leave earlier in the morning, but those last ten minutes of sleep just end up being more important right up until she’s rushing to actually get out the door.  When she pulls into the university area, she already knows that she’s doomed.  There’s no parking anywhere.  She’s already behind, and she’s either going to have to spend the next thirty minutes circling the campus, desperately hoping that something will open up, or park so far away that she’ll already have missed her class by the time she walks all the way there.ParqEx: The Trials of Parking at the University

Crystal isn’t currently enrolled at the university.  She’s just meeting a friend for lunch at a little place that happens to be a few miles off campus.  Unfortunately, she’s beginning to regret her decision to drive all the way in instead of parking off campus and walking.  There’s no parking anywhere near the restaurant, and she’s about to be late to meet her friend.  Even if she wanted to park further away, she’s wearing her favorite pair of stylish–yet highly uncomfortable–shoes.  Walking that far simply isn’t an option.  Now, if she could just find a parking space.

Byron has been planning this date for weeks.  He knew that Gabby loved theater, so he was sure that she’d be enchanted by his decision to take her to the college’s latest production.  He’d planned everything perfectly:  he’d dressed his best, remembered to bring her flowers, and even scoped out the best place to take her out to dinner after the play.  There’s just one problem:  it’s pouring rain, she’s not dressed for walking, and there are no parking places to be had anywhere.

Mark has a standing appointment to tutor Lacey on Wednesdays after her last class.  Unfortunately, the last few times he’s come in, he’s been running very, very late.  It isn’t because he isn’t making the effort to show up on time; the trouble is, he hasn’t been able to find parking.  He’s leaving with plenty of time to get there and get a space; there just isn’t one anywhere!  By the time he finds one, he’s running behind, and he has to cut her tutoring session short as a result.  She’s not getting what she needs out of the arrangement, and that means that if he’s not careful, he’s going to be looking for another tutoring job.

Jordan just needs to run into the bookstore on campus to pick up one item.  He’ll only be there for a few minutes…if he can find a parking space.  Unfortunately, if he has to park off-campus and walk, he’s going to end up being late to his job.  He has to get in and get that book picked up, or his professor is going to read him the riot act on Monday, but he can’t risk being late to work, either.  All he can do is hope that there will be a parking space open…or is it?

All of these people have one thing in common:  they need a parking space.  Some of them need one for a one-time event or commitment.  Others would benefit from having regular access to a parking spot.  The solution?  ParqEx.  ParqEx allows drivers just like these three individuals to reserve parking spots when they need them the most, where they need them the most.  In high-traffic areas, finding a parking space can be a real challenge, but with ParqEx, you can rest assured that you’ll have the parking space you need, when you need it.

Need more information?  Fee free to contact us with your questions and concerns and to learn how ParqEx can revolutionize your parking habits.

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