PRNDL app seeks to alleviate parking frustrations
MSU students feel passionately about parking on and near campus.
Take marketing senior Zach Brewer — co-founder of the two-week-old app PRNDL — who came to MSU three years ago and immediately faced parking problems.
As first year freshmen, students are prohibited from having cars on campus.
As stated on the MSU Police Department website, “If you live on campus, you must be at least a second year freshman with 20 credits in order to register your vehicle.”
Brewer described it as “the most recurring, frustrating issue” since he came to the university.
The app is a “service with a very simple idea." The service aims "to make finding parking easy, and enable you to make extra money from any spare parking spot,” according to its website. It's been coined "the Airbnb of parking" by its founder.
Brewer recalled the pivotal moment that served as the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Upon entering the parking ramp located on Shaw Lane, Brewer said that every single parking spot was occupied barring the 40-something spaces in the front of the lot that are reserved for faculty, staff and other exceptions.
Frustrated by the thought that he was going to have to skip class due to no open parking, Brewer remembers thinking that he would pay whoever owned one of those parking spots just to use it for a few hours.
Thus, PRNDL was born.
“Really what we’re trying to do is solve an issue for the community,” Brewer said.
Brewer noted that about 50 long term parking spaces have been sold so far.
When asked about the issue, MSU spokesperson Jason Cody pointed out just how large the university is.
“Anytime you have an institution that has 65,000 people on it’s campus any day, there are going to be people that could be frustrated with parking,” Cody said. “Unfortunately, with that many people on campus, not everyone is going to be able to park right next to the building they want to go to.”
As far as parking goes at MSU, Cody said he doesn’t see it as any more of an issue here than at any other large institution or downtown location.
MSU Police captain Doug Monette reported that as of Sept. 1, there are 2,574 active permits — including residence halls, Spartan Village, University Village and 1855 Place — that would have been purchased primarily by students.
As far as commuter permits, 2,444 have been issued.
There is an adequate number of parking spots on campus, he added.
Brewer said that the startup has not run into any issues with the university or the city.
“It’s more of a compliment to what they already have in place,” Brewer said.
He added that the point is not to take business away, but to ensure that everybody has a place to park when they come to East Lansing.