The latest development in the war for public parking in thr Bay Area: startup Monkey Parking is completely ignoring San Francisco’s cease-and-desist letter from earlier this week.
Today the Italian startup issued a statement explaining it has no plans to stop operations and that it’s completely legal, SFist reports.
Monkey Parking, which allows users to auction off the parking spaces their vehicles occupy, was named along with similar apps Sweetch and ParkModo as tools that promote breaking the law.
Auctioning off a public parking space can land a San Franciscan a $US300 fine, City Attorney Dennis Herrera said. Herrera brought the cease-and-desist against the startups because he believes they help users break the law. But Monkey Parking insists that it is only selling information, not parking spots.
In its statement the company pointed out that sharing information is protected by the First Amendment, Ars Technica reports.
“This is happening with our company and other companies operating in the social sharing space,” Monkey parking said it is statement to Ars Technica. “This is yet another example of a local ordinance that was drafted in a world pre-shared economy which local authorities are improperly applying to a shared economy service.”
It’s true, the government has been struggling to figure out how to regulate the booming sharing economy, even when the resources being shared are private. Lyft and Uber are facing trouble in the state of Virginia, and Airbnb users are consistently running into trouble with their own landlords.