Parking Startups Are Cashing In on America’s Traffic Surge

Before the pandemic, the industry was in crisis, says Eran Ben-Joseph, a professor of urban planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and author of ReThinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking. The rise of such ride-sharing services as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. had meant that many parking garages at stadiums and the like were forced to retrofit their spaces for other uses, such as mini-distribution centers for packages.

Post-pandemic, though, parking companies are benefiting from a renewed love of personal space. “I do think right now there’s a little bit of a psychological issue with taking public transit or taking Uber,” Ben-Joseph says. He also thinks parking apps in particular may be benefiting from the lack of desire to touch kiosk screens or hand over cash to an attendant.