Driveway owners, meet the people who want to pay to park there

Owen Van Natta: Driveway leads to the home

If you want to find a parking spot in downtown Portland, it will cost you, — even on a Sunday afternoon. Right now, your $1.60 per hour goes to the city, but a new startup would like the city’s residents to get a little cash from people looking to park, too.

By September, Citifyd hopes to create an app that lets homeowners offer up their driveway to drivers in need a place to park. If you drive around residential areas close to stadiums, you’ll often see people holding signs offering their driveways for a price, and this is the high-tech version of that. There are lots of apps already that help drivers find open public spots, but Cityfyd would be transferring money to homeowners’ and business owners’ pockets.

It was because he noticed so many empty parking spots on his way to a soccer game (Portland loves its Timbers) that CEO Sohrab Vossoughi started Citifyd. The company already has $1 million in funding, and Vossoughi hopes to double that this summer, according to GeekWire. In addition to private driveways, he hopes organizations with bigger lots, such as churches and businesses, could open them up when they’d otherwise be empty.

Drivers pay a fee to Cityfyd for finding the spot, and the company also gets a portion of the money the driveway and lot owners charge. Just how much those fees will be isn’t available yet. Those hoping to list their driveways or parking spots can start signing up now.

I know some people who live near the Timbers’ stadium who would love to start using surge pricing for their driveways during games. Unfortunately, there are few events that would bring that that kind of demand for my driveway, which is right near a yarn store.