Graduates have ingenious way of making your empty driveway make money and pay your bills

Your driveway is sitting there all day when you are at work and it could be making you money. That is the premise of an ingenious new app developed by two Galway students — and if it’s successful, it could revolutionise the pattern of commuters into the world’s major cities.

Two NUIG graduates have devised an ingenious app for use on iPhones and Android systems that could see homeowners or business people earn considerable amounts of income from the unused space outside their front doors.

Jack Stenson, from Salthill and Gar Walsh from Baile na hAbhainn, Connemara, who met while attending NUIG have just developed ParkShark in Ireland and are focusing on Galway for the initial launch. 

The app will soon be available worldwide, with further launches planned for London and San Francisco.

Mr Stenson told the Advertiser that a driveway or a space where a car can be parked is an asset that is literally sitting there when you could be making money from it.

“Anyone who owns a free space or driveway can list it as being available for others to use, charging whatever fee they want.  The space can be advertised for whatever period the owner wants, from a few hours a week to 24/7.  The advertised times can be changed, as can the price, at any stage.  “

“It costs nothing to list the space and the owner keeps 90 per cent of the revenue earned.  List your space on ParkShark, set your own hourly, daily, weekly and monthly rate, and the money arrives without you ever having to lift a finger.”

“If you drive to work, leaving your space free while you’re away, you can make money for that period.  If you live near a sporting venue or concert theatre you can rent a space for the few hours around occasions when the venue is being used. 

“If you have a space free near a hospital, university or bus station it is a valuable piece of land that could earn you the price of a holiday every year – why just let it sit there, doing nothing?  Business owners often have multiple parking spaces, many of which are never used.“

Motorists get a great deal, too. 

“Drivers just open ParkShark, check the area they are going to and see what spaces nearby are available and at what price”, says Jack.  “Click on the space that suits you best and reserve it for the hours you need.  Payment is automatically made.”

“It’s free for motorists to register, too.  There’s no set charge or recurring fee.  The driver only pays for the hours a space is reserved, not a cent more.  Think of all the time you’ve spent driving around in circles looking for a parking space, time running out, your passengers getting frustrated and cranky wondering if the restaurant table that’s reserved will be given to someone else by the time you finally arrive!”

“People can rent out their driveways to help pay the bills and also fix the parking problems near places like the hospitals. Meanwhile drivers can get guarantee places to park in advance and save money as well. It’s a win-win solution.”

Jack, now living in London, and Gar, who has taken up residence in San Francisco have been working on ParkShark for the last year developing the app and “hunting down the faults and bugs that will pop up in unexpected places” as Gar puts it.  

“It’s been fun, but sometimes very tiring, holding down fulltime jobs while holding internet conferences across time zones stretching from Sydney to Mumbai, where some of the software was developed, and London to San Francisco.  There was never a time of day when it was normal working – or even waking – hours for all concerned!  But it was worth it.”

Find out more or get started with ParkShark at www.getParkShark.com

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