“Multi-modal” is a big buzzword in the urban mobility realm, with apps pulling together public transport, ride-hailing services, electric scooters, bikes, private cars, and more to help people find the optimal route from A to B.
While cities would no doubt prefer to have everyone use public transportation for their entire journey, the fact is that some people still need to use cars to reach the nearest public transport location, be that a train station, bus stop, or ferry terminal. This is why transit app Moovit is today announcing a partnership with off-street parking marketplace SpotHero to surface parking spots — including those near transit stations.
How it works
The partnership goes into effect from today, starting in San Francisco, and is designed to ease road congestion in the Bay Area. However, given that SpotHero is currently in dozens of cities across the U.S., the integration will gradually roll out across the country.
There are some initial limitations to the integration — users will have to manually search for their nearest parking lot through the search box inside the Moovit app. And there is no guarantee there will be an available spot when they get there. But the company said that an “additional integration” will roll out in the future, with users able to view “dynamic information” detailing how many spots are available. They will also be able to book and pay for SpotHero parking through an automatic redirect to the SpotHero app.
“Moovit is committed to simplifying urban mobility with our app as the one stop for all your stops, and we believe parking is a critical piece of the mobility puzzle,” said Moovit’s chief growth and marketing officer, Yovav Meydad. “Commuters can help reduce congestion simply by parking at transit hubs and riding public transit for the ‘last mile’ of their trip.”
Founded in 2012, San Francisco-headquartered Moovit has raised in the region of $130 million from some big-name investors, including Intel Capital, Nokia-backed NGP Capital, BMW i Ventures, and Sequoia. Though Moovit is perhaps better known in the consumer sphere for its free app, the company also operates a mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platform that provides municipalities with data and analytics to improve city transport infrastructure. That data can also be licensed to any third-party developer.
Indeed, Moovit has partnered with Uber for several years already across a range of initiatives, and last month Uber revealed it was going to show full transit options — including public transport — directly inside its own app.
Moovit has also dabbled with parking partnerships before. Last month, Moovit, TomTom, and Microsoft announced an integration to create what was touted as the “world’s first truly comprehensive multi-modal trip planner,” though this is only available through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.
While parking is arguably a less-sexy piece of the urban mobility puzzle, it is clearly a key consideration when joining the dots between a traveler’s starting and end points. That is why SpotHero has raised north of $60 million from notable investors, while rival ParkWhiz has raised a similar sum of cash for its parking platform.
“Parking sits at the intersection of the biggest trends in urban mobility,” added SpotHero CEO Mark Lawrence. “We are excited to partner with Moovit to help commuters who need parking en route to a public transit stop reduce stress, cut down commute times, and improve traffic flow around busy transit stations.”