SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An Italian company whose mobile app allows San Francisco drivers to get paid for the public parking spaces they exit has temporarily shut down the service following an order from the city attorney.
Despite saying last month that it wouldn't stop, MonkeyParking said in a blog Thursday that it "temporarily disabled" its bidding service in San Francisco, a day before City Attorney Dennis Herrera's deadline to cease operations or face a possible lawsuit.
"We are currently reviewing our service to clarify our value proposition and avoid any future misunderstandings," the website said.
MonkeyParking CEO Paolo Dobrowolny said in an email Friday that his company was working with lawyers and he hopes to meet with city leaders soon. "We want to operate in full collaboration with the city," Dobrowolny said.
Herrera said in a statement Friday that MonkeyParking and two similar smartphone apps that exchange money for parking spaces, Sweetch and ParkModo, said in writing that they will go on hiatus.
"I'm grateful that these parking apps have at least temporarily honored my request to halt business practices that clearly violate San Francisco's Police Code. At the same time, we're going to remain vigilant against those who would try to hold on-street public parking hostage for their own private profit," Herrera said. "I hope they can come up with some innovative and legal ways to serve their customers' transportation needs."
Herrera sent a letter to three parking apps on June 23 threatening a lawsuit if they didn't cease operations by July 11.