CEO: Haystack parking app will launch in Boston despite push back

Haystack Founder Eric Meyer came up with the idea for the app after having trouble locating parking in Baltimore. Photo: Haystack
Haystack Founder Eric Meyer came up with the idea for the app after having trouble locating parking in Baltimore. Photo: Haystack

The founder of a controversial mobile parking app said that despite the city’s push back on his product, it will still launch in Boston on Thursday.

Eric Meyer, the founder and CEO of Haystack, said that his company is not focused on the city’s criticism of his app, but rather getting it rolled out.

“The only thing we’re worried about right now is the thousands of people in Boston who have already signed up for Haystack and wanted this to come here are able to use this service,” Meyer said on Wednesday.

Haystack lets Apple iOS and Android users buy and sell street parking spots in real-time. Users are able to connect with others in their neighborhood who are either searching for a parking spot or leaving one. Space buyers are charged $3, with $2.25 going to the space sellers and 75 cents going to Haystack.

The city and Mayor Marty Walsh issued statements on Tuesday that “pay-to-park” apps impede access to public spaces.

The Boston Transportation Department “will continue to evaluate any and all systems that may infringe upon the public’s right to equal access and/or those that may artificially inflate the cost of spaces on Boston roadways and in municipal off-street parking lots, and BTD will take appropriate measures to prohibit any such app that is determined to do so,” Walsh said in a statement.

Meyer, 24, said users are not getting paid for the space, but instead are getting paid for “useful information.”

Meyer has been in Boston for days ahead of the planned 6:30 p.m. launch on Thursday. He said staff members from his Baltimore-based company drove up to Boston and he described the parking here as “tricky.”

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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