Time is Money


Time is Money

That’s the money quote in this article about an on line reservation system startup in Boston. Read the article here:

Its the same story – Some very bright fellow didn’t like to look for a parking space and decided to throw technology at the problem. "I have to go look for a parking space."  Why? The reason is that the person didn’t want to PAY for a parking space so they were looking for a FREE or CHEAP space.

If the price of on street parking on Boston, or other cities was set high enough, there would be plenty of parking.

The folks complaining and or telling warm and cuddly stories about camping in their cars so they can move their car one second after the "alternate side"  timeout hits seem to think their time is free. The deal with all these people who move their cars is that they are moving them to free, or relatively inexpensive on street spaces in Manhattan. That is, spaces that are less expensive than the $16 dollar a day spaces in parking garages. Yes, if you get a $500 a month space in a parking garage, the cost is $16.66 a day.

My guess is that if all persons parking in NYC had to pay $20 a day to park their cars on street, the problem would simply go away. Those that could afford it would park in garages, others that could afford more would park on street, and the rest would find alternate places to put their cars.

Can someone in Manhattan explain to me why it makes sense to buy a car for say $350 a month? Then pay Say $150 a month for insurance, an additional $25 for license, Say $50 for maintenance, $100 for gas, and then expect to park it for FREE? (My numbers are probably low for NYC.)

I’m just not that familiar with the culture in NY.

Please explain this. In my many travels to New York, it seemed to me that a car was just a mill stone. Your wonderful city is built so you don’t need cars.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

3 Responses

  1. Jon – spot scout sucks but you are worse. you think that because you have a blog you are some sort or technology wizard. i wouldn’t have even found your blog without the new york times. quit complaining about the future and figure out how to adapt.

  2. ha. your lack of nyc knowledge clearly hasn’t stopped you from forming a poorly reasoned opinion.
    — people don’t ‘camp’ in their cars, they drive them around the block when the steet sweeper comes through
    — i don’t make any car payments on my 12-year-old honda and the price of parking would amount to a ticket per week, which i DON’T get when i respect the alternate side rules
    — insurance is about one-third what you estimate if you have a good driving record
    — once again, to repeat, the parking regulations force owners to keep their cars in good running order so that’s actually a beneficial consequence
    — $100 for gas per month? are you smoking something?
    now figure in the amtrak train fare, rental car fare, or plane fare you save every time you take a road trip out of the city in your car (any new yorker knows the key to loving the city is being able to escape it) are you see clearly that the car pays for itself many times over each year.

  3. Unfortunately, car ownership isn’t just about transportation. For many people, it’s about prestige. Having a vehicle that “says” something about who you are. Financially, not having a car is a big relief.
    I live in San Francisco, and we have a similar situation where car ownership is really just an expensive nuisance. After doing the parking shuffle with our 12-year-old Honda (not a prestige vehicle), my wife and I finally sold it this year. Rental cars and car sharing–in SF we have City Car Share, Flexcar and Zipcar–are options when we _must_ have a vehicle for out of town trips. But for the most part we can get around by walking, bicycling, and transit.

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