Anyone who’s had to park at Regina General Hospital knows finding a space can be challenging at times. Two Regina entrepreneurs are trying to change that with their smart phone app Offstreet.
“We figured the General had the most immediate need for it,” Offstreet co-founder Matt Fahlman said.
“So we started testing the product at the end of February, early March this year, and it went really well, so we went live on the app store in mid-June.”
The app is simple, people can sign up to rent their drive-way or another parking space on their property. Users can check and see what’s available, and book spots through a credit card.
The owner of the spot collects 75 per cent of the booking fee, and 25 per cent goes to Offstreet.
Fahlman said that he and his partner, Kyle Smyth, currently have a small but dedicated user base. The app has been downloaded around 300 times, and eight to 12 spots near the General Hospital are booked daily.
Yvonne Bloos works for the College of Medicine at the hospital and was one of the first people to sign up for the beta-test version of the app.
“There are great problems with parking around the hospital. There are no spots even to purchase, even private homes sometimes and things like that,” she said.
“You can sometimes find a spot, but it is pricey like you mentioned, probably a couple hundred dollars.”
Bloos likes that she can book spots daily, instead of committing to a monthly payment. Currently, it costs five dollars to book a spot. Fahlman said that may change as more spots are registered, and the fee may change depending on how close it is to the hospital.
Fahlman said that they will soon have 20 spots available near the General Hospital.
He added they are working on expanding to the area around Mosaic Stadium for events like Roughrider games. The goal is to have a few spots available for Saturday’s home-opener.
Eventually they plan to add downtown and nearby neighbourhoods, plus expand into parts of Saskatoon.
“We would like to, in the future, work with groups like churches and community organizations that might six to 10 spot parking lots that aren’t always used during the day when there’s a big demand, Fahlman said.
Currently the app is only available on Apple devices. Fahlman said they hope to have the app available for Andorid devices late this summer or early fall.