Need a spot? Parking app lets commuters reserve spots while helping the community

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Finding parking in New Jersey can be difficult in some towns. But a new parking app is helping commuters reserve spots, while also helping the community.

News 12 New Jersey met Joe Colangelo, CEO of Boxcar, at the Chatham Train Station. Like most commuter lots, this one was full. Colangelo says that a lack of commuter parking is a big problem in many suburban towns.

“We’re in Chatham where there are 100 daily parking spots that go for $5 a day that are owned by the town. The problem is that they fill up at 6:15 a.m.,” he says.

This is where the app Boxcar comes in. Based in New Jersey, the app pairs drivers who can’t find commuter spots or don’t have permits to park in the lots to parking lots that would otherwise be empty.

“We partner with those properties and we allow them to rent out their parking in a really safe and flexible way,” Colangelo says.

The app also helps the community – 75% of the parking fees to go the owners of the parking lots, which are typically churches or nonprofit groups like the VFW or American Legion.

“The civic institutions in these suburban towns have physical locations near the train stations and they don’t need parking during the week and they also need money,” Colangelo says.

It does cost a little bit more to park in these spots than it would to park in a commuter lot. But Colangelo says that he thinks the price is worth it.

“What you get with that extra dollar is you have a spot waiting for you at 10 a.m., or whenever you want to show up in the morning,” he says.

Boxcar has about 800 spots in 25 towns across the state. They say that they will be expanding. The company also has spots in four other states with about 1,200 spots total. They also operate a few municipal lots.

More information about the app and ways to suggest parking lot partners can be found on Boxcar’s website.

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