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App looks to ease financial strain of parking in Calgary

The ParkChamp app shows available spaces around Calgary, for much less than normal. (Tom Ross - 660NEWS)

It can be frustrating at times to be a driver in Calgary, and it often gets worse when you want to leave your car somewhere.

As parking fees eat into the wallets of Calgarians, a local company hopes to make it easier — and much cheaper — to find a spot.

The ParkChamp app began as a simple operation about two years ago, allowing people to rent out their unused driveways.

“And now we’re just scaling to allow commerical buildings to optimize their vacant spaces as well,” said co-founder Maggie Young.

With downtown vacancy rates still sky-high in Calgary, Young hopes the app will help companies and individuals make extra money, along with easing headaches for commuters.

They use an GPS-enabled app, showing all the available spots nearby and the price they’re available at. It allows you to book a spot up to two weeks in advance.

“So it alleviates that pain of driving around, looking for parking. The stress of paying at the metre and not working. And again, what we know are the expensive rates we find in the city,” added Young.

Normally, you would be paying around $20 a day for downtown parking, but Young estimates you can save about 50 per cent.

If you’re in need of extra money or not using an expensive spot, you can rent it out to someone else who wants it.

The ParkChamp app is available for free on Android and Apple devices.