A locally created app is connecting Winnipeg drivers with downtown parking spots.
GrydPark, a parking pilot app launched by Winnipeg property management technology company Gryd, offers hourly, daily and monthly parking at 20 to 30 per cent less than neighbouring lots — and with no contracts.
"We wanted to do something that would impact the environment and help the community in some way," Gryd managing director and Tuxedo resident Josh Glow told The Sou’wester.
"We found the parking industry is extremely inefficient, and nobody’s talking about solutions to fix it."
Once downloaded and users have searched for a destination, the app will locate the nearest spot within the specified time parameters. Google Maps will then navigate you to the spot, removing the hassle of circling the block in search of a stall. You can book day-of or weeks in advance. Payment is also done through the app.
With the COVID-19 pandemic causing hybrid work arrangements to become more normal, Glow hopes GrydPark will make coming into the office once or twice a week more cost-effective for commuters.
"With other companies, you do have to buy a monthly pass if you’re coming in, but GrydPark will let you pay for only a day or two days, and you can customize your monthly parking needs," he said.
During market research, Gryd found 40 per cent of downtown Winnipeg is parking, with 30 per cent of downtown traffic in larger cities being caused by drivers circling the block in search of parking.
Glow said there are eight parking spots for every car in North America, yet a parking shortage still exists.
"Why is that? It’s because there’s poor utilization of community infrastructure," he said. "Companies put up ‘reserved’ signs instead of taking a more share-based approach that enables every single spot to be rented out."
It’s also a threat to the environment; globally, an estimated 300 million litres of fuel is consumed annually by people trying to find parking, Glow said.
"We want to change that," Glow said. "If we better utilized the spots in our community and we shared them, perhaps we could build more greenery or parks, and really just rejuvenate downtown instead of just having parking."
GrydPark currently has hundreds of spots throughout Winnipeg and the number is growing each week. A lot of its inventory is with managers of multi-family properties — apartment buildings — but the company also works with several religious institutions and small businesses.
Parking is in Winnipeg’s downtown core, the Exchange District, Osborne Village and in and around hospitals, universities and stadiums.
The app has only been live for a few months, and Gryd is now preparing to launch GrydPark nationally.
Gryd is now working on allowing tenants in apartment buildings to rent their parking spot sout while they’re away.
"We’re really just looking at ways to share parking infrastructure and better the community," Glow said.
The GrydPark app is now available for download on app stores.
Kelsey James is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She graduated from Red River College’s creative communications program in 2018 as a journalism major and holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric, writing and communications from the University of Winnipeg. A lifelong Winnipegger who grew up in southwest Winnipeg, Kelsey is thrilled to be covering the neighbourhoods she still calls “home.”