We created Sweetch to bring a solution to the parking crisis San Francisco citizens are experiencing. It takes on average 20 minutes to find a spot and 30% of congestion is due to drivers cruising for parking. That creates more cars on the road, pollution and carbon emissions. Right now, people hoard spots. If you live in the Marina or Russian Hill and you find a spot, you will do everything you can to avoid moving your car. That means fewer spots for others, for tourists and for the patrons that merchants in SF so desperately need. So doing nothing isn’t an option.
We believe that we need to collaborate and help each other to make parking better. That’s why we built Sweetch, a platform where drivers looking for spots can find drivers leaving their spots without wasting time and gas. We introduced a $5 incentive, which is according to our experiments the minimal reward needed for people to collaborate.
Today we are proud to go a step further in our willingness to solve the parking crisis and to announce Freetch. Freetch is an open source version of our technology that any public organization, developer or entrepreneur can use to build a solution they believe will solve the parking crisis. We view Freetch as a tool that anyone can use to build their own model of encouraging collaboration for parking through technology. We would love to see apps being created where drivers exchange spots for hugs, lollipops or flowers, were that to work.
We wish public organizations and citizens all over the world will use Freetch to create innovative approaches to solve the Parking crisis!