Solving Cities

BMW launches ParkNow mobile app in San Francisco

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Pick out your parking spot before you get into your car? You soon can in San Francisco.

With an estimated one-third of downtown traffic coming from drivers looking for parking, BMW wants to eliminate the unnecessary congestion and hassle of searching for a parking spot.

BMW Group announced they are launching a new mobile parking service, ParkNow, next month in San Francisco.

ParkNow essentially lets you reserve a parking spot before you get in your car and start searching for one. Spots are chosen based on price and location preferences. The difference between this and other mobile parking apps is that the parking spots are located in specific ParkNow locations throughout San Francisco instead of on city streets. Currently, there are 14 ParkNow pilot locations throughout the city located near transit stations and bikeshare. More than 100 additional locations will be available in September.

BMW also detailed its new carsharing service in San Francisco, DriveNow. The service is much like other car services like Zipcar or car2go except they use the all-electric BMW ActiveE. There are 70 of the cars located in eight specific DriveNow stations throughout San Francisco. They can be charged or parked at any of the DriveNow stations (car2go cars can be parked anywhere). The cost of the service is $12 for the first 30 minutes and then $0.32 for each additional minute. (There's a 24 hour price cap of $90).

"The BMW Group is more than a premium car company, it is also focused on developing and delivering new services to help meet the increasing need for flexible mobility solutions in our cities," said Ian Robertson, BMW Group Member of the Board, in a statement. "The premium car-sharing service DriveNow and parking solution ParkNow will help meet that demand in San Francisco and, ultimately, in other cities. Our introduction of these services in San Francisco represents BMW's commitment to encouraging the development of new mobility options that will reduce emissions and congestion and improve the quality of life for San Franciscans."

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Photo: BMW

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure