Monthly Archives: February, 2016

ParqEx: Highlights of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show this Past Week

Highlights of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show this Past Week

February 25th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

The week-long 2016 Chicago Auto Show, which culminated this past weekend at McCormick Place, featured an extensive array of vehicles.  Some of the vehicles on display included hybrids, electric, convertibles, crossover, diesel, economy and sports cars, to name a mere few.

Auto-Show-highlights-300x300 Highlights of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show this Past Week

Examples of the electric car technology at the auto show could be seen in two of the more prominent of the bunch, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt.  However, many more such cars were present as well.  For the record, electric cars come in a few different forms, such as battery-powered only and extended range electric.  The latter will operate until the charge of its battery runs out, then it switches to gasoline.

There were also numerous hybrid cars on display at the auto show.  In no particular order, a few of them were the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid, the 2017 Lincoln MKZ, the Mercedes-Benz S and the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid.  The main allure of the hybrid vehicle is that it utilizes two different energy sources for its power. Hybrids are highly efficient in improving fuel economy.

With so much new technology in vehicles on the rise, we at ParqEx feel like part of the team, and we get just as excited at the technological success within affiliated industries. This is especially true for the Chicago Auto Show. ParqEx is a community-based private parking marketplace app available on app stores.  Contact us for much more information.

ParqEx: College Campuses Could Benefit from Using Peer to Peer Parking Platforms

College Campuses Could Benefit from Using Peer to Peer Parking Platforms

February 22nd, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Parking, sharing economy No Comment yet

We all know that feeling of finding that sweet parking spot, but for many students at colleges and universities across the country, both students and faculty are not experiencing this pleasant emotion. While tuition and enrollment both continue to rise, parking facilities are not keeping up with the pace.

According to figures from the National Center For Education Statistics, in recent years, enrollment at secondary educational institutes has risen by 24%, from 16.6 million to 20.6 million. The number of full-time students rose to 28%, while the number of part-time students rose by 19%. While this is great for the education of our society as a whole, students and faculty are frustrated by a lack of adequate parking.

College-Campuses-Could-Benefit-from-Using-Peer-to-Peer-Parking-Platforms-300x300 College Campuses Could Benefit from Using Peer to Peer Parking Platforms

UIC Gets a C Minus in Parking

For those attending UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago), they’re logging in at the popular College Niche website and have given the parking situation on campus a C minus as an average grade. While this denotes a less than fair level when it comes to grading standards, it would not be a grade that I would want to see on my college kid’s report card. Some of the complaints listed by students were:

  • The price for parking in a semester is way too high
  • Free parking around UIC does not really exist
  • Get(s) annoying real quick because it’s always packed
  • Parking on campus is impossible
  • You need to plan ahead to make it to class on time

A student author contributor notes, “According to research, at any given time there are about seventeen thousand people on campus, but there are only about eleven thousand available parking spaces.”

Worst City For Parking

Since Chicago is such a big city, it should probably come as no big surprise to students that parking is a problem there. As a matter of fact, Nerd Wallet named the windy city the worst town for parking in all of the United States. They cited variables such as cost, problems with theft and pointing to a controversial privatization of parking.

Prices skyrocketed in 2009 after the City of Chicago made a deal with a group of investors, organized by Morgan Stanley, to operate its meters for 75 years. A group called Chicago Parking Meters LLC runs the gamut and the city also has an enormous laundry list of parking violations that they use to deliver expensive citations.

No Room and No Money For Additional Parking

One might imagine the simple solution would be to simply add more parking structures or build additional lots, but in most cases, there isn’t sufficient space or funds available. According to Parking Today, the cost to build just one parking spot is around $2,000. For a parking garage or other type of structure, the expense shoots up to somewhere between $13,000 and $15,000 per space.

The addition of more parking also means an increase in traffic, which means that the University would also be forced to perform a traffic analysis. Campus and neighboring streets may not be able to handle the additional wear and tear on their aging roadways and other surfaces.

Students Using Peer to Peer Parking

In today’s modern technological world, many are turning to apps like ParqEx – A Peer to Peer Parking. The concept is actually quite simple, after downloading the app to your smartphone or android device, parking spot owners can list their unused parking spots and renters can rent convenient and affordable parking.

ParqEx: 3 Ways to Earn Money This Year

3 Ways to Earn Money This Year

February 18th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking, sharing economy No Comment yet

Everyone likes money. They say that money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy things like food, housing, and entertainment. Wouldn’t you like to have just a little more in your pocket? Here are 3 ways to earn extra money this year.

3-WAYS-300x300 3 Ways to Earn Money This Year

Rent out your parking spot

Believe it or not, that little square you park your car in is worth a lot, especially if you live in a bigger city. If you don’t use your spot all of the time, or maybe you have an extra spot that you don’t use at all, it’s very simple to rent it out to people who need it using ParqEx. You don’t have to do much more than set up an account, but this one method could easily make you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. All you have to do is list your parking spot on the ParqEx platform. Input the dates and times that it will be open, and be sure to note how much you want to charge for it. Don’t forget to upload a photo of the spot too. If the ParqEx system finds someone who wants to rent your spot, you can accept or deny that renter. If you accept, the rent for the spot will appear in your account!

Rent out your spare room

No matter what you have, there is someone out there who needs it. Do you have extra living space available? This could mean anything from an apartment you’re not using, to a spare bedroom, to an air mattress and some space on the floor. Why not rent it out? You can use sites like RadPad or Zumper to sublease or find a roommate for months at a time, or you can set up an account with a company such as AirBnB to rent out extra space for as little as a night.

Rent out your car

Going on a trip? Why not rent your car and parking? ke GetAround and Turo are peer to peer car sharing comapanies that specialize in facilitating this exchange, whether you’re going on a trip, or just not using your car for a while. So go ahread, rent your car and parking and make even more money.

Want to learn more about how you can make money renting out your parking spot? We can get you started. Click here to get started.

ParqEx: 5 Commuting Tips to Make Your Mornings Easier

5 Commuting Tips to Make Your Mornings Easier

February 11th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, Safety No Comment yet

Who doesn’t wish their morning commute was easier? Even those who have a blissful 15 minute or less commute can likely find a thing or two they’d like to change about it.

We see your morning commute as being a window of opportunity — even if you love your commute, you may find something here to help make your mornings even smoother. Here are 5 commuting tips to make your mornings easier.

5-Commuting-Tips-300x300 5 Commuting Tips to Make Your Mornings Easier

  1. Start Your Morning the Night Before. Both men and women take the same amount of time to get ready in the mornings — about 52% clock in between 10 and 30 minutes; with another 20-25% saying it takes more than 30. Think of all the things you could be doing otherwise — morning yoga, a run, reading your favorite web comics, or sleeping (our favorite option). While there are certainly some things you can’t do the night before like shave, put on makeup, or shower (we know — some of you refuse to do it the night before), there are things you can do — like pack your lunch, lay out clothes, and get your briefcase or purse ready to go.
  2. Treat Yourself to a Tasty Beverage. Part of what makes our morning commutes crummy is that they’re boring. We get in the car, we drive the same route, we park, we go to work. Done. Spice up your mornings with some delicious beverages that can make your drive a little tastier! You can prep healthy and filling smoothies the night before by freezing ingredients in a blender; make a mini coffee bar with your favorite syrups or add-ons, or try scrounging for some new tea flavors to try on your commute.
  3. Guarantee Your Parking with ParqEx. If you’re lucky enough to have your name in big corporate letters on a metal sign, please skip to point 4. All others, read on! We know what a headache it can be to have to haggle for parking once you arrive at your destination — even worse are the mornings when you’re running late and can’t seem to find a single place to park. Cut down on all the hassle by finding and reserving the best spot using ParqEx, and never give your boss that lame parking excuse again.
  4. Level Up Your Entertainment. The news tends to be depressing, talk radio is typically mind-numbing, and there’s a good chance you’ll be hearing those Top 40 songs for the rest of the day in either the breakroom or from your cube mates. Why not get yourself some better audio entertainment for your ride? Podcasts, books on tape, and even webinars are all fantastic ways to inject a little education into your morning — here are some that are far from boring, and are genuinely fun to listen to.
  5. Get a Sidekick. It may seem like a 90s sitcom trope, but carpooling can actually be pretty great. You can typically save a lot on both car maintenance and gas — and you may even land yourself some new friends. Carpooling can be a great way to practice your professional social interaction too, letting you get a leg-up in the way you talk with your coworkers — and when was the last time you saw “Communication skills not needed” on a job listing?

We’d love to hear from you! Contact us if you’d like to learn more about how you can earn money through your parking spot, and how the sharing economy is making waves for people like you.

ParqEx: 3 Travel Apps Everyone Should Have to Make Winter Easier

3 Travel Apps Everyone Should Have to Make Winter Easier

February 4th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

With months to go until spring pokes its head up, with the days being shorter and colder, cabin fever can quickly set in.  And we all know what the best cure for cabin fever is, right? Travel! Figuring out where to go, when to leave, how long to stay – the excitement can only grow from now til time to head out to your destination. Before taking off, check out these three top travel apps that everyone should have tucked into their suitcase…or at least in their phone.

3-Travel-Apps-300x300 3 Travel Apps Everyone Should Have to Make Winter Easier

  1. ParqEx – If you are going to be driving once you arrive at your destination, this app can save you a lot of time and headache. You can rent a privately owned parking spot for an hour, a day, a week, or a month. During the winter, this app can be just the thing by helping you get as close as possible to your hotel, or entertainment venue, so you won’t have to risk trekking through snow and ice on your trip. Also, if you own a private parking spot, you can list it while you’re out-of-town and let it earn you some extra cash until you return.
  2. Winter Survival Kit– This app can be a true life saver. If you are stranded out in your vehicle during cold weather, your Winter Survival Kit will calculate how long you can run your engine on your remaining amount of fuel, call 9-1-1 for you, alert your family, and help pinpoint your location. It is also set up to alarm every 30 minutes to remind you to shut off your engine for a while and to check your exhaust for obstructions.
  3. Minutely – This weather app can also be a very handy accessory for cold-weather travel. It keeps you up-to-date on all the current weather conditions and forecasts for your location and your travel route. This can help you know what roads to avoid, or if there are any closures ahead. This can help you not end up stranded out in your car for extended periods of time during inclement weather.

These may not be the only apps you’ll use while you’re gone, but they can definitely help to make your trip easier and safer.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Happy travels!

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