Finding a free parking spot may be tougher to do. A new app now allows owners of private parking spaces to start renting them out.

The app is called Prked and it is being dubbed the “Airbnb of parking". The app's website describes it as "Parking when you need it. Extra income when you don't. A parking app that helps find the perfect parking space or rent out your unused spots." It is an online marketplace that will allow individuals, businesses, homeowners associations, and other owners of private parking spaces to rent out their unused spaces. The app will make it easier for businesses to list their company parking spaces outside of office hours.

The founders of Prked, Dylan Fay and Zack Saadioui, said they came up with the idea while going to the University of Florida. Whenever there was a football game, many students started to rent out their parking spaces to visitors.

The Prked app was officially rolled out in February, but like everything else, COVID-19 slowed its growth. The app has been marketed to major metropolitan areas in our state. Prked currently is focusing its marketing efforts to parking space owners and plans to market it to parkers when COVID-19 dies down. Prked currently has more than 3,000 users on the platform. When I checked for available Prked spaces in the Grand Rapids area, the search did not find any available spots.

Drivers have peace of mind with Prked’s contactless booking and payment system, which bypasses parking meters, ticketing machines, and parking attendants. Prked is also looking at Bluetooth technology so that users can access parking lots and structures that require a key card to enter.

What happens if you stay past your allotted time? Users have a 15-minute window to vacate the parking space; otherwise, the vehicle can be towed at the owner’s expense.

Learn more and download the app at prked.com.