Is there something more effective than peak-hour traffic when it comes to ruining your mornings? Yes there is, and that’s parking. But Melbournians can soon get a bit of relief, as Sydney-based Divvy Parking has just launched in Melbourne, marking the first phase of its national expansion plan.
Soothing parking pains, one city at a time
Divvy is based on the increasingly popular collaborative consumption model, much like Uber and AirBnB. It enables individuals and businesses to lease out their vacant car spaces, offering drivers in high-density urban areas convenient long term and monthly parking up to 50 per cent cheaper than traditional options.
The company has successfully booked the equivalent of 300,000 parking days in Sydney. Founder and CEO Nick Austin said he expected Divvy’s expansion would be welcomed by Melburnians who experience similar challenges with parking shortages.
“As councils and state governments seek to reduce traffic congestion on our major inner city roads, finding a convenient parking space has become an ever-worsening nightmare,” Austin said.
“The crazy thing is, there are actually thousands of vacant, but hidden, spaces peppered throughout our cities. Most people would be shocked to know just how many underutilised parking spaces there actually are in Melbourne.”
According to Austin, Divvy’s smart technology opens up these spaces and helps commuters find safe, secure and affordable parking in convenient locations. Melburnians may no longer have to spend mornings and evenings searching for parking spaces.
Passive income, anyone?
Divvy is not just a solution for seekers of parking spaces, but also a passive-income opportunity for the lucky ones who do have car parks for rent. Listing the space is free of charge, and owners get to set the availability of their parking slots.
In inner-Sydney suburbs, such as Surry Hills, Potts Point and Pyrmont, owners of car parks are making between $50 – $90 per week for renting out their spaces, easing the cost of living by reducing rents and mortgages. Spaces in the CBD often rent for $120 per week. Austin said residents in Melbourne can expect similar returns, with the demand for parking high in many suburbs.
Divvy is parking itself into a promising future
It seems like the company is riding on the right wave. In recent years, state governments and local councils have been looking at various ways to improve traffic flow and unclog our busy inner city streets. In Melbourne, the city council has sought to reduce on-street parking as well as reduce the amount of commercial parking spaces.
In fact, the City of Melbourne data shows that the number of commercial parking spaces in the CBD has actually dropped eight per cent in the past six years to just under 30,000. Meanwhile, Austin said, fines for parking infringements had jumped almost 40 per cent in the past year.
Divvy is currently in talks with a number of commercial property groups in Melbourne, after securing deals in Sydney with commercial property and real estate groups, including GPT and Knight Frank.
“Our success negotiating with corporate property groups is proof that the public and private sector can work together to create smarter, more efficient and future-proofed cities,” Austin said.
“I started Divvy because I saw an opportunity for individuals, businesses and communities to work together to solve a common urban dilemma. We’ve been able to help out thousands of people in Sydney and we’re excited to be bringing the solution to Melbourne.”
Bring it on, we say!