I saw a couple of articles today about an app called SpotSquad due to go into trials in Canada next month. It brings the idea of crowdsourcing to the parking enforcement arena. We’ve all seen cases of bad parking, with seemingly nobody around to do anything about it, so what if you could report it yourself and possibly get rewarded at the same time?
The proposed plan is that users of the app take down vehicle details using their smartphone if they spot a car in breach of the rules in a participating car park. This info includes GPS data and photos, this then summons an actual enforcement person to formally issue a ticket if they agree with the submission. This bypasses any potential issues over a member of the public, rather than a professional, issuing fines (the articles also mention the user photos are not valid in court for example). Revenue from the fine is then shared between the reporter and SpotSquad. There is also an element of gamification in that users are given increasing military style ranks based on how successful they are in generating tickets.
Whether the business model is viable remains to be seen, but they already have plans to expand into the US market if successful.