Parking in the United States is a $30 billion industry. That’s billion, with a “b.”
We’ve seen many instances of startups trying to snatch a piece of that pie with varying degrees of success. In San Francisco, where finding a parking spot is about as difficult as dividing by zero, a company called Luxe has emerged as one the country’s brightest new parking app prospects. Queena Kim of Marketplace recently gave it a test drive.
As Kim explains, Luxe is brilliantly simple. Instead of driving around for half-an-hour trying to find a spot, users can make a reservation so that a Luxe valet is waiting for them at their destination. The valet takes the keys, asks how long they plan to be out, and then parks the car in an partnered lot. The service costs $5/hr with a $15 maximum.
While the service seems to work well in its infant stages, one wonders just how scalable this business model can be. There’s also, as Kim notes, potential issues related to the labor needed to fully satiate the instant-gratification economy.
That said, Luxe seems to work well for what it is now and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes in the future.
Civil rights leader Mary McLeod Bethune on never giving in to discrimination:
“If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves and allow those responsible to salve their conscience by believing that they have our acceptance and concurrence. We should, therefore, protest openly everything… that smacks of discrimination or slander.”