Parking at the University of Nevada, Reno, might be much easier due to a new app that helps find a spot for you. The app launches this week.
The app, called Instally, is self-described on the app store as, “the Uber of parking.” By tapping a button and putting in a time, the app uses location services to find the nearest available parking. It also provides direction to said spot.
Creator Ryan Klekas says that like many students at UNR, parking was a source of daily frustration.
“I couldn’t find any parking and ended up parking illegally. I noticed all the empty driveways and literally thought, “why isn’t there an app that would let me reserve one of those driveways so I don’t have to worry about this ever again,” Klekas said.
Klekas graduated from UNR in December of 2016 with an MBA and an emphasis in entrepreneurship.
Other features of the app include an option to rent out your private parking spot, a favorites tab and a rating system similar to ride-share apps that let you grade your parking experience.
Klekas spent seven months working on the app. It is available on the Apple app store and Klekas says they have plans to expand to the Android market before the fall 2017 semester.
The Instally page on the app store says the average driver spends 15 minutes searching for parking.
According to Klekas, the name, “Instally,” is a combination of the words, “Instant,” and, “Ally.” Klekas later clarified ally as the verb, not the noun, was his inspiration for the name.
“As a verb, the word means, ‘combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) for mutual benefit.’ Since Instally is a marketplace platform that utilizes the shared resources (parking spaces) of others for the mutual good of all users on the platform, these two words describe its purpose with perfection,” Klekas said.
Once Klekas had won the $50,000 first prize at the Sontag Entrepreneurship Competition in 2016, he used a third-party firm out of San Francisco to program the app.
Students at UNR are no strangers to the parking situation.
“Parking across campus is really hard to find and most people don’t have the time to search for one. I’ll definitely use the new app, I think it is a really good idea,” said freshman Faith Delfin.
Freshman Brandon Mansanas doesn’t believe the app is as useful in practice as it would be in the idea room.
“I feel like, if you come early for class, you won’t have trouble finding parking,” Mansanas said. “The responsible thing would be to come earlier since you know parking will be a hassle,”
Students pay upwards of $400 for parking passes on campus. This app is aimed to help those who cannot afford a parking pass.
“My future plans for Instally are to expand the service to other university campuses similar to UNR with respect to parking availability on campus and demand for parking,” Klekas said.
Jake Barnes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.