OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
Doing the Impossible… Finding Parking in Bangkok
Bangkok is a city with seven million registered cars and only 400,000 parking spaces. For countless drivers this adds only insult to injury after sitting in traffic for 2+ hours each and every work day only to then have nowhere to park. Enter Parking Duck, a new web service that takes the concept of the sharing economy and puts it to use in a place that so desperately needs it.
Parking Duck founder and CEO Paruey Anadirekkul explains, “Parking in Bangkok is broken. When I worked as a consultant, visiting multiple client sites was a major pain because there was rarely any available parking near the sites. I typically had to park far way in unsecured areas.”
Parking Duck solves this problem for many by connecting drivers to the owners of parking spots that often sit empty throughout the day (think condos and private residences). Bangkok drivers can sign up on the website and create a personal profile along with preferences to find parking that fits their needs. They can then make use of an interactive map and make payments directly on the website. Owners that are hosting spaces to rent currently do not pay any listing fees. As well, the system has been designed with security in mind, as both drivers and owners must enter their driver license or ID number when completing a booking.
In an interview with Thai Tech, Anadirekkul elaborated, “I realised that the problem wasn’t just me being unlucky but that my colleagues, my bosses, and sometimes even the clients themselves do not have parking spaces. But then near the client site, there was always an empty condominium or land that could be used for parking, but no one knew who to contact or have the time/information to bother asking. But I did spend the time to ask around, and eventually got parking for myself (but it took two months of regularly Googling and calling people about available spaces). That was when the idea started out as a solution to address my own problem; to make P2P parking easy.”
Some people are no doubt curious about any legality and/or liability issues arising from such person-to-person (P2P) services such as this. In reply, Anadirekkul has made clear that this service is compliant with Thai laws. It is legal so long as you have the right to the parking space and (in regard to condo tenants) sub-leasing your own parking spot does not violate any of your building rules.
However, attempting to rent out a space in any public or shared parking areas—either at condominiums or roadside—is strictly prohibited, and the website actively monitors for such postings.
This is definitely the right approach. Especially given the controversy last year created by a similar service—the MonkeyParking app—which faced accusations of people using it to “pimp out” public parking spaces and was ultimately shut down in San Francisco, California.
The company is currently working on an app (both iOS and Android) for the service in an attempt to further convenience, and is also seeking partnerships with corporate parking spaces management to offer hourly and daily parking.