The NSW government is turning to the state’s mobile application developers to help it rent out its unused car spaces to members of the public.
The state Finance department operates nearly 400 car spaces for the use of public servants and their fleet vehicles - many of which sit empty a lot of the time, Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet said today.
The government will today ask app developers for proposals to built the state an online platform that would allow members of the public to use of some of these government spaces on an hourly and daily basis for a fee.
“These car spaces don’t belong to us – they are the property of NSW taxpayers and it’s our responsibility to maximise their use before, during and after business hours,” Perrottet said.
The state is taking cues from booking apps like Divvy Parking and the Airbnb-affiliated ParkMonkey, which allow owners of car parking spaces to rent them out.
Drivers can find free spaces and pay for their use via the apps, which are being touted for their potential to put downward pressure on parking prices.
The operators of both apps have put their hands up to participate in the NSW government's EOI process.
However, Perrottet said pitches would need to address security screening and monitoring procedures, with many of the free parking spaces located in or around government buildings.
“There are complex security and operational issues that need to be considered at government-tenanted buildings, but that shouldn’t preclude us exploring options to more efficiently use government car spaces,” he said.
“We are tapping into new technology and innovative startups to advise us on the feasibility of this approach.”
Once a solution is chosen, Finance will test the feasibility of the scheme over a six-month period, and will rollout the booking system if it can satisfy the security and viability demands of the government.
It will accept pitches until 3 September 2015.