ORLANDO, Fla. — A new app created by two Puerto Rican engineers allows you to reserve a parking spot at popular shopping centers around the Orlando area.
- New app allows drivers to reserve mall parking spaces for fee
- App was developed by 2 Puerto Rican engineers
- MyPark App was born of frustration, company CEO says
"It originated out of frustration, like many ideas do,” said Luis Mayendia, CEO of MyPark App as he laughed.
Almost 10 years ago in his hometown in Puerto Rico, he said his uncle would get upset every time someone would take his parking space at work.
“The guard looking over the parking spots would always say a pretty girl was using it for a few minutes," he laughed.
He and his colleagues first thought of developing something they could sell at electronic stores where users could have a remote and get into their parking spots. But as technology evolved, they decided to go the application route.
Soon enough, MyPark App was born.
The app allows users to reserve parking spots for a fee wherever a MyPark station is located. Currently, MyPark is available at The Florida Mall and two Orlando-area outlets. You can either reserve a spot minutes before you arrive with their "park now" feature or reserve a spot for the future, which you can book up to 6 months in advance.
“This will really be an advantage during the holidays, or your family is visiting from out of town and you know what date they’re coming already,” Mayendia said.
The service is part of what experts call the "convenience economy," in which users pay for convenience.
"I always have to wait at least, I don't know, 10 minutes to find a spot,” said JP Gaztambide, an excited user of MyPark App.
Those minutes add up when he often goes out for lunch to The Florida Mall. Gaztambide now uses the app to reserve a spot every time. "I just take out my phone, openMy Park, sure enough, there's a spot," he said.
The fee starts at $3 for the first two hours; each additional hour is $3.
"It's the convenience, you pay for the convenience,” Gaztambide said.
But is paying for a prime parking spot necessary? Some say no, and others say it depends on when you need it.
Yolanda Rivera and her family parked at the back of the parking lot at The Florida Mall on Thursday. It was the only spot available when they arrived, but she didn’t mind.
"I will walk, and I can exercise," Rivera said.
MyPark App is currently available in South and Central Florida. Next stop will be Dubai.