Travel – ParqEx

Posts tagged " Travel "

Food

Top 10 Cities for Food in America

May 1st, 2017 Posted by Food, Parking No Comment yet

Where can you find the best restaurants in United States? Opinions vary, of course, but as far as we’re concerned, these are the top 10 cities for the best food in America.

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sharing economy

Gaining Travel Freedom With the Sharing Economy

January 26th, 2017 Posted by Parking No Comment yet

As the sharing economy phenomenon sweeps the globe, people from all backgrounds are finding amazing ways to make this incredible revolution work for them. From parents to college students, everyone can find some way to make the system benefit them. (more…)

environment

How the Sharing Economy Can Help the Environment

January 5th, 2017 Posted by Parking No Comment yet

In this day and age, more and more people are looking for ways to live a little bit greener. From making use of reusable shopping bags to riding bikes to work, the green movement is really starting to catch on, and for good reason. Our environment could really use some TLC from us right now, and by giving the Earth the care it needs, we help ourselves, each other, and all of the plants and animals around us.

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Sharing Some of Chicago’s Best Winter Events

December 22nd, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Holidays, mobile app, Parking, parking spots, restaurants, sharing economy, West Loop No Comment yet

Chicago, the city of the big shoulders. There’s always plenty to see and do in Chicago. Let us share some information with you on winter events in the Windy City.

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4 Peer-to-Peer Companies to Use on Your Next Vacation

December 1st, 2016 Posted by AirBnB, Chicago Travel Tips, Holidays, mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, startup, Uber No Comment yet

The sharing economy has become a huge deal, and it is still growing. From lodging to car rentals, there is a peer-to-peer sharing platform for it all.

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5 Steps to Prepare Your Car for Winter

October 20th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

We’re moving into the cooler seasons. Especially Chicago residents know that winter can come in a heart beat. Is your car ready for it?

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September Festivals We Recommend in the Chicago Area

September 22nd, 2016 Posted by Chicago Events, Community, Holidays, Parking No Comment yet

Summer is wrapping up and temperatures are cooling off, but things are still heating up in Chicago this month! For your consideration: a number of fun things to do while traveling in Chicago during the month of September.

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Chicago Weekend Picks (Sept. 9-11 Edition)

September 8th, 2016 Posted by blue man group, Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Feature, mobile app, music, News & Events, Parking, ParqEx, promotions, sharing economy, she'd aquarium, startup, theater No Comment yet

 

Living in Chicago can be overwhelming. Actually, let’s rephrase that: living in Chicago IS overwhelming – a good kind of overwhelming. Why? Because there are so many things going on ALL THE TIME. This certainly isn’t a bad thing, but if you’re anything like me, your weekend is impacted by the phenomena known as FOMO (fear of missing out). If you’re new to the FOMO term, here’s a definition: a form of social anxiety – a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites. You’ve probably felt this before, some more than others, but we can all agree that it’s a BAD feeling.

FOMO is never going to fully subside, but it can be treated and prevented. The folks here at ParqEx want to help you experience Chicago the way it should be experienced, without unnecessary amounts of FOMO. Plain and simple, we want to make your life better, easier, and more fun. That’s why we will be writing a post every week with fun things to do every weekend.

We’ll suggest events for you to attend and will make your life easier by helping you park nearby at affordable rates. Don’t miss another event just because you didn’t know it was happening.

Here are our suggestions for events you should seek out this weekend (9.9-9.11):

1.) Blue Man Group

 

Blue Man Group is pretty awesome. If you’ve never been, you must go. It combines technology, comedy, art, music, vaudeville and much more into one performance and it’s fun for the entire family.

Click here to see a little preview of the performance you’ll see, hear, feel, and if you’re close to the stage, possibly even touch!

Head to the Briar Street Theater this Friday, Saturday or Sunday to be a part of the action. For tickets, click here.

For parking, search “Briar Street Theater” on the ParqEx app or website!

Blue Man Group drums on buckets lined with paint, creating cool visuals.

2.) Amphibians at the Shedd Aquarium

 

Get the chance to see over 40 species of frogs, salamanders and caecilians at the Shedd Aquarium this weekend. Whether you’re trying to impress a date with your knowledge of the amphibious populations OR wanting to take the whole family to a fun exhibit, make sure you check out the giant 4 foot salamander; one of the largest in the world!

Find out more about the event and purchase tickets here!

And remember, you’re going to need to park. Find a spot on the ParqEx app or website!

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3.) The Annoyance Theatre and Bar – Comedy Club

 

Share some laughs and drink some drinks (don’t share your drinks) this weekend at The Annoyance Theatre. For 25 years, this theatre has been producing some of Chicago’s best comedy shows. The Annoyance uses improvisation to create new and original plays, musicals, sketch-comedy and more in a vibrant, uncensored atmosphere.

Learn more about events at The Annoyance Theatre Here!

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4.) Brick by Brick at the Museum of Science and Industry

 

This 7,000-square-foot exhibit, developed and created by MSI, will feature a spectacular collection of more than a dozen giant LEGO®-built structures of engineering marvels, including a 60-foot long Golden Gate Bridge, the International Space Station, St. Louis Gateway Arch, Hoover Dam, Roman Coliseum, and more, constructed by LEGO® Certified Professional and Chicago native, Adam Reed Tucker. These formations will be paired with hands-on building challenges that reinforce key principles of engineering, construction and architecture-and encourage creativity.

Throughout the exhibit, guests will learn how architects and engineers push the limits of design, materials and location to make the seemingly impossible, possible; witness how form follows function; learn how building beautifully uplifts us all; and explore Chicago’s impact as the birthplace of the skyscraper.

(Information courtesy of Choose Chicago)

Purchase your tickets for the exhibit here! 

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5.) World Music Festival Chicago

 

Love music? Hear the tunes of artists from all over the world at the World Music Festival this weekend! Enjoy global grooves by award-winning artists from around the world at the free, city-wide, multi-venue World Music Festival Chicago. This year’s festival will feature over 60 artists from 25 countries at 20 venues over eleven days!  (Choose Chicago)

Learn more about the 18th Annual World Music Festival Chicago here! 

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Thanks for reading! Your friends at ParqEx want you to have fun this weekend. Make sure you check out our available parking spots on the ParqEx App or on the website here. Rent a spot hourly, daily, weekly or monthly! AVOID FOMO.

 

 

 

Back to school, armed with ParqEx

Back to School Armed With ParqEx

September 1st, 2016 Posted by Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

It’s that time of year again. While the weather may not reveal it, it is almost time for the fall semester of school to begin. Summer camps are coming to a close, kids are excitedly shopping for backpacks, teachers are diligently preparing lesson plans, and college students are rushing around shopping for lodging, enrolling in courses, and preparing for another fantastic school year.

Back to school, armed with ParqEx

Back to school month is a busy time for college students, and there are many important details they must remember to address.

One important (and often neglected) part of planning the school year when you are a college student is deciding where you will park during classes.

Though it may seem like the most obvious solution, parking on campus is usually cramped and expensive. Things get especially tough when a student will be arriving at school later in the day, as there are often few parking spots left, and the student is forced to drive in circles until they find a spot. This can often lead to the student being late to class. This is bad for the student’s grades and reputation.

The best way to avoid this situation is by reserving a private parking space that is within walking or biking distance of the school. In reserving a spot to park, you will be able to rest easy knowing that there will be a place for you to leave your vehicle while you attend class. “But,” you may ask, “where on earth would I find a parking place for rent?”

ParqEx is an excellent place to search for private parking places to rent near your school. This peer-to-peer parking program allows anyone with an open parking space to rent that space out to folks like you who might need it. This creates a win-win situation, as the student is able to score a reserved parking space, and the renter makes a little extra money on the side.

Perhaps in your school planning you were lucky and found a house for rent within walking distance to your school. In this case, you obviously don’t need to worry about parking, as you can just hop out of bed and walk over to your first class of the day.

However, if you have extra driveway space and want to make some extra cash, you can use ParqEx can rent out parking to a fellow student in need of a space. This will put some extra money in your pocket and help someone else out at the same time. Let’s face it, every college student could use that extra spending money.

Do you want to know the best thing about ParqEx? It isn’t limited to schools. ParqEx can be used across several cities in the United States, and will only continue to grow. So, the next time you’re taking a trip to Chicago and don’t want to pay a fortune for parking, check ParqEx first. You will almost certainly find someone who is more than happy to rent out their Chicago parking space in exchange for a bit of cash so you can head out to see the sights. The same holds true for Philadelphia, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami.

As you can see, ParqEx is an excellent solution no matter what your parking or renting needs may be. If you are ready to get started with this incredible service, download the app now.

If you have questions, or would like to learn more about or service, please feel free to contact us. We would be thrilled to address any questions or concerns you may have so you can begin enjoying ParqEx as soon as possible.

3 Tips for a Better Commuting Adventure Around Chicago

August 4th, 2016 Posted by Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

With around 10 million residents in the Chicago Metro area and 50.2 million international and domestic visitors in a given year (2014), according to Wikipedia, commuting around the Windy City is a daily adventure. Hopefully, with the right strategy, tools, and plan, commuters will get to their destination in one piece and not be late. In an effort to facilitate this small miracle, here are 3 tips for a better commuting adventrure around Chicago.

better commuting USE

1. Know Your Options

Let’s start with the basics and explain the commuting options available. Here’s a list of the most common commuting methods:

    • CTA Rail/Bus (a.k.a the “EL” or “L”)
    • Metra Rail
    • Biking
    • Driving
    • Carpooling
    • Walking
    • Taxi (Car and Boat)

These are the common commuting methods (except taxi boat) people use in Chicago. Looking at the very helpful Chicago Commute Mode Map on the website transitized.com, we can see which commuting options are used the most according to the areas within Chicago.

Basically, commuting by driving solo dominates the suburbs — outside of the “Chicago Loop” (downtown area). Notably, the Near North Side all the way up to Uptown is dominated by commuters using the Metra Rail (mostly young professionals). Much of the area around the highly concentrated “Loop” is dominated by walking commuters. Driving alone is always a popular choice, but parking problems make this a difficult and expensive option.

2. Plan Ahead and Prepare

Knowing your commuting options is the first step, now preparing for the adventure is the next. In the third largest city in the U.S., commuters generally find a method that works for them and stick with it. Yet, everyone has to start from somewhere, and circumstances can change, requiring a new plotting and planning session to occur.

The optimal commute is somewhat a subjective choice; one person may prefer biking 10 miles, rather than taking a CTA bus. Maybe one person would rather take the Metra Rail, rather than drive alone, etc. There may even be someone who would rather take the CTA bus than any other option, but this is likely from their extreme adventure lifestyle. Either way, consider: what method is preferred, what method is cheapest, and what method is fastest?

With the preferred methods in mind, start mapping out the route from start to finish. This adventure will likely be a mixture of commuting methods, so each stage needs to be considered. Where will you park your car or bike, how much will the commute cost at each stage, how much does any parking and storage needs cost?

This planning may require some phone calls and web searches for specific stops and destinations along the way, in order to get the exact information needed for a smooth commute. How long will you have to wait at the intervals, and how long is each leg of the journey? In addition to knowing the main route for the journey, an alternative route should be considered just in case of an unexpected delay or issue.

Planning and preparing in some capacity needs to be done with every new adventure, even with “regular city folk.” For those who are new to Chicago, this will make the difference between a fun adventure and being part of a “lost in Chicago reality show.”

For instance, if you have to take the CTA rail or bus, make sure you have exact change, or do like regulars do and get a pass at Walgreens. Even those who are used to Chicago need to plan and prepare their commutes, when their work changes and/or they’re trying to commute somewhere different.

3. Driving Alone with Parking Options

Now that we’ve explained the options and process of successfully commuting in Chicago, let’s talk about something most people won’t admit. The preferred method of commuting for almost everyone is driving solo. This method gives people the most freedom, flexibility, comfort, and security out of all the other options. The only problem with this option is being able to find and afford parking at the final destination.

Some people have snazzy employers who provide parking, but what about the times when they’re not working? For everyone else, finding parking is difficult and then cost about around $15/day; and night parking for everyone can be unsafe and confusing. So what’s the solution?

The good news is the “driving solo commuting option” is now more possible and affordable than ever with ParqEx. This is because ParqEx helps people in Chicago (and 6 other major cities in the U.S.) find secure and affordable parking anywhere they need it!

For real, just download the ParqEx App on your smart phone, look up the neighborhood you need parking in, reserve the private parking spot you choose for the times needed, and then park there at the end of your commuting adventure. The only difference now is the adventure will be a lot smoother and less of a headache. Want to know more? Contact us today and we’ll be glad to help.

5 Roadtrips From Chicago You Should Take This Summer

5 Roadtrips From Chicago You Should Take This Summer

July 28th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking No Comment yet

Dr. Samuel Johnson said on September 20, 1777, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” The same can be said of modern Chicago, since it has some of the finest museums, zoos, shops, parks, public artwork, theaters, and restaurants in the world. However, even with all the Windy City has to offer, it’s nice to get out of town occasionally. Here are five roadtrips from Chicago you should take this summer.

5 Roadtrips From Chicago You Should Take This Summer

Head north to the state line. Bristol Renaissance Faire has been voted the Country’s Best Renaissance Faire for five years in a row, and it’s only an hour’s drive away. What is a Renaissance Faire? “A Renaissance Faire is a recreation of life during the Renaissance historical period that is a combination of a county fair, a living history display, and live improvisational theater with audience participation.” Saturdays and Sundays from July 9 to September 5, the Bristol Renaissance Faire is a chance to escape the 21st century and go back to the days of Queen Elizabeth I. Listen to the minstrels sing as you eat a turkey leg. Watch the jugglers, gymnasts, and dancers. Marvel at the knights jousting. Shout huzzah when Good Queen Bess and her court pass by. The faire is open from 10 am until 7 pm, and with 30 acres of shopping and entertainment, you’ll want all day to see everything. Come in modern clothing or dress in Renaissance garb; you’re welcome either way. There are children’s activities, as well as shopping and shows for the whole family. Visitors to Bristol Renaissance Faire may park in a preferred parking lot close to the main gate for $5 or park for free on the north side of the faire.

Kenosha, Wisconsin, is an hour north of Chicago. Enjoy one of its many musical events: the Twilight Jazz free concerts July 19, July 26, August 4, and August 30; Peanut Butter & Jam free concerts July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, August 11, August 18, and August 25; Lincoln Park Live free concerts July 13, July 27, August 10, and September 14; or the Country Thunder Music Festival July 21 – 24. Visit the Kenosha Public Museum; admission is free. Learn about natural science and fine arts, walking distance from Lake Michigan. Ride the Electric Streetcar. Eat at Choo Choo Charlie’s, Boat House Pub & Eatery, Ashling on the Lough, or Kaiser’s Pizza and Pub. Stop at Mars Cheese Castle and Bobby Nelson’s to buy cheese and sausage. If you have kids, go to nearby Pleasant Prairie and take the tour of the Jelly Belly Factory.

From Chicago to Zion, Illinois, is only a short ride on the Metra or an easy drive. Visit Shiloh House, the mansion once home to Zion’s founder, Dr. Dowie. Illinois Beach State Park offers natural beauty with dunes, marshes, and forests. It’s a great place for swimming, hiking, bicycling, or a picnic. Zion has two golf courses, Shepherd’s Crook Golf Course and Shiloh Park Golf Course. August 27 and 28 is the 23rd Annual Potawotami Trails Pow Wow, featuring Native American music, dance, fry bread, and merchandise. The Concert in the Park series has rock, soul, and classical music: July 14, July 21, July 28, August 4, August 11, and September 4. The 68th Annual Zion Jubilee Days will be September 3 – 5.

Highland Park, Illinois, is home to the Port Clinton Art Festival August 27 and 28 and the Ravinia Festival, the oldest outdoor music festival in the nation, which runs from June to September every summer. This summer it will include Duran Duran, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Bonnie Raitt, and Judy Collins. Heller Nature Center has a hiking trail that wanders through the woods to a pond. The Highland Park Historical Society Museum includes the Francis Stupey Log Cabin, built in 1847.

Rockford, Illinois is roughly two hours from Chicago. It has several museums and parks. Anderson Japanese Gardens are beautiful, a wonderful place to commune with nature. It is home to the Japanese Summer Festival July 30 and 31. Museums in Rockford include Discovery Center Museum for children and parents, Burpee Museum of Natural History for the scientifically inclined, Midway Village and Museum CenterTinker Swiss Cottage Museum & Gardens, and Camp Grant Museum for history buffs, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House. Catch a show at Coronado Performing Arts Center. For nature buffs, the Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden and Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens are well worth a visit. If you want to cool off and have some aquatic fun, visit Magic Waters Waterpark in nearby Cherry Valley.

For more information about what to do in or near Chicago this summer, contact us.

ParqEx: 5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

July 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Events, Chicago Travel Tips, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

Part of the benefits of living in or visiting a large city is the many things to do anytime. The summer time, in particular, is a great time to visit or get out and have some fun. What kind of fun depends on you, but when it comes to Chicago in the summer, the choices are wide and varied. To narrow it down a little, let’s check out 5 great things to do in Chicago this summer.

ParqEx: 5 Great Things To Do in Chicago This Summer

Lollapalooza Music Festival

How could we leave out Lollapalooza, which will be the 25th birthday of the event. This years festival is being held at Grant Park, and is headlining some bands you might have heard of like: Radiohead, Lana Del Ray, and LCD Soundsystem. The four days of music festivities is being held July 28th -31st, which is one day longer than usual.

Grant Park is in downtown Chicago, and will have two entrances attendees can use. The event coordinators warn of the limited availability of parking, so advise people to take public transit. This is where ParqEx can help you have the perfect parking spot nearby while everyone else is taking the bus! The cost of four-day passes are $335 and single day passes are $120.

Movies in the Park

For a more low-key type of activity, how about a movie in one of Chicago’s many parks? Over 250 movie screenings are being held from June until mid-September in parks all across Chicago. Bring a blanket and some snacks to enjoy a movie on a very large blown up screen, in the middle of a Chicago park at night.

To give you an idea of some of the parks holding these events, here’s a list of 10: Gross, Grant, Piotrowski, West Chatham, Sherwood, Lindblom, Lowe, Eugene Field, Eckhart, and Maplewood. And to give you an idea of the movies being played, here’s a list of 10: Jurassic World, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Sandlot, War Room, Ant-Man, The Lego Movie, October Sky, Inside Out, Rio 2, and Zootopia.

Watch an outdoor movie for little to no cost, and enjoy the beautiful nights of Chicago with friends and family watching a good movie. There are many parks holding these events, so parking availability will vary, but either way ParqEx can help make outdoor movie night less of a hassle for the times when parking is needed.

Windy City Smokeout

There are so many great food and music festivals during the summer including the Taste of Chicago held at Grant Park, but let’s highlight the Windy City Smokeout. This is an annual three-day food and music festival being held from July 15th – 17th, 2016. Grilled meats and country music are the themes of this event being held at River North on W Grand Ave.

Bands like Billy Currington and Old Dominion will be playing country music while plenty of tasty pork, beer, and meaty treats will be available from local barbecue restaurants. Attendees can gain entry one day for only $40, or get a weekend pass for $100. Parking will be tough for this downtown event, so reserving a space through ParqEx will help facilitate a smooth culinary country music holiday at the annual Windy City Smokeout.

See a Cubs Ball Game

One of the biggest attractions in Chicago and especially in the summer is the major league baseball teams: the Cubs and the White Sox. There’s not many cities with two pro baseball teams, which gives residents and visitors a great choice for a summer time event to attend.

The Cubs play at the historic Wrigley Field, which has been undergoing some big renovations. The Cubs had their best season since 1945 last year, only four wins away from being in the World Series! That means this summer should be an exciting time to watch a Cubs game.

Tickets cost anywhere from $27 to $200. Wrigley Field is located in North Chicago near Uptown on W Addision St., so finding parking and dealing with traffic could be tough. ParqEx could help you find and reserve the perfect parking spot nearby, so you can enjoy a Cubs ball game this summer.

Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour

Many people will find a river cruise appealing in Chicago this summer. There are many different options to choose from if this is the case. For instance, the Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour runs daily from Gateway Park and Navy Pier beginning at 10am. This is a 75-minute cruise highlighting more than 40 Chicago landmarks and only costs $32-$39 for adults and $16-$20 for children under 12.

Summary

The list goes on and on with fun and interesting things you can do this summer in Chicago. These 5 activities should give you an idea of the diversity of options Chicago gives residents and visitors when it comes to enjoying the Windy City. Great food, music, and culture are all kicking off even now as summer officially begins.

Don’t let parking woes slow your fun down this summer when enjoying Chicago. The ParqEx app gives you the tool needed to find the parking solution for every circumstance. Simply find a parking spot being rented nearby your event, reserve it on the day and hour needed, and the rest is taken care of through the app.

For those who have a parking spot to rent the process is just as simple. Use ParqEx to rent out your space and make some extra money during the year, all through the app. We’re a Chicago based company proud to help bring people together to make parking easier and safer. To learn more please contact us today.

ParqEx: How Technology Innovation is Changing Transportation

How Technology Innovation is Changing Transportation and Shipping in 2016

May 26th, 2016 Posted by mobile app, Parking, ParqEx, startup No Comment yet

The transportation and shipping industries are getting smarter and more innovative every day, thanks to a fruitful partnership between IoT and the ever-expanding sharing economy. The latest developments with these technologies are improving roadways and shipping ways for individuals and businesses alike–including these innovative examples.

ParqEx: How Technology Innovation is Changing Transportation

BlipTrack Sensors Helping Road Engineers in Europe Create Better Traffic Flow

Blip Systems has attached sensors to city streets that allow for some interesting real-time analysis of traffic congestion patterns. The sensors are designed to pick up the presence of smart devices that drivers are carrying with them in their cars. The sensors accomplish this by obtaining the MAC addresses of smartphones via Bluetooth or WIFI as the drivers pass by. This data is then time-stamped and encrypted and sent to the Blip System server. From there, researchers can observe highly detailed, real-time traffic flow data. Every driver basically becomes a trackable pin on a map, and the road engineers can observe the congestion patterns of all the pins moving along the roads.

This has big implications for engineers who want to make more informed decisions about reducing traffic jams. As this article notes:

Road engineers analyze the collected data to help pinpoint the source of congestion. They then experiment with changes to infrastructure, such as the addition or removal of traffic lights at key intersections, in order to smooth traffic flow. The engineers watch the journey time data especially closely after they add a traffic light, Gilbert adds, to make sure it does not cause unexpectedly slow sections on the roads.

Will we soon see similar sensors on the streets of Chicago? If so, then hopefully our road engineers can become more effective in reducing traffic congestion and commute times.

Nimber: Sharing Economy Technology Comes to Personal Shipping

The sharing economy, which has taken advantage of our billions of mobile devices and vast connections to each other, to create the greatest bartering activity in the history of the world.

Our innovative sharing economy is now sweeping into the world of personal shipping.

Now, thanks to the company Nimber, people in the UK can help other people ship items. It’s absurdly simple, but so very brilliant–as explained on Nimber’s page: “Nimber is a community delivery service that matches people who need to send something with someone going that way, anyway. By working together as a community we can make shipping convenient, sustainable, and more personal.”

It gets better.

The price of shipping is determined not by Nimber but by the two parties who are agreeing to help one another. You post the item you want shipped on Nimber, and when a “bringer,” as Nimber calls them, sees your post and agrees to take your item with them when they go to that location, you work out a price with that person.

Such a service raises plenty of eyebrows and questions, of course. But it appears to be working, and Nimber adds this guarantee to their description of the app: “We insure every item up to 1000€. If something happens in transit we will either replace the item or repair it up to that amount. We’ve had very few claims to date, but we want you to rest assured.”

This is a UK-only app, but the implications are intriguing. Will Nimber, or an app similar to it, eventually come to Chicago? Once Nimber gets the bugs worked out by establishing its services in the UK, will it storm the US with an amazing new shipping option that will blow apart the FedEx, UPS, USPS world?

Time will tell.

You Don’t Have to Travel to the UK to Benefit From the Sharing Economy

While you might have to wait for that innovative shipping service to come to you, you don’t have to wait to benefit from the sharing economy in Chicago. The app ParqEx is a superb example of this kind of innovation. It locates privately owned parking spots in Chicago and uses ParqEx’s large network of users to allow you to reserve an ideal parking spot in advance. And when you reserve, you can be as specific as month, week, day, or hour.

Or you can use the app to rent out your parking space to someone else and gain an extra stream of income.

If you love technology innovation and the sharing economy as much as we do, contact us to learn more about Parqex.

ParqEx: Poor Transportation Options Have More of an Impact Than You May Think

Poor Transportation Options Have More of an Impact Than You May Think

April 14th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Parking No Comment yet

Transportation used to be simple.  If we got from point A to point B, we would consider it a success.  As society developed, so did our transportation needs and desires.  Cars gave way to more cars and trucks, and the need for public transportation rose as our society spread out.  Many of the issues that have arisen due to this are not only caused by the need to reach more distant destination, but also with congestion in the cities and business hubs.

ParqEx: Poor Transportation Options Have More of an Impact Than You May Think

Poor transportation options, lack of mobility, and parking failures have just as many indirect consequences as they do direct.  Not only are means of transportation now a symbol of status, but lack of transportation can, for example, prevent someone from attending a job interview and therefore doom them to a lower status for life. When 30% of city traffic is made of cars looking for parking, it often does not even matter why they are there anymore.  King or pauper, traffic is the great equalizer as it can turn the most mild-mannered citizen into a snarling beast.  It wastes people’s time and puts the general population in a collective bad mood.  Below are several other ways that traffic and transportation issues can have an impact.

Poverty

In Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s book Move: Putting America’s infrastructure back in the lead, she highlights several transportation challenges that all people face. One area in which there is specific focus is in regards to inequality and discrimination.  She discusses how not only are the poor individuals who cannot afford to live in big cities being punished for doing so, but also any chance to improve their lives is impeded by crumbling infrastructure that provides obstacles in getting places.  Furthermore, the lack of public and government support in fixing these areas or providing affordable parking options highlights the social injustices that perpetuate poverty.  The poorest areas often have the least options, and this applies to transportation just as much as anything else.  They will miss out on opportunities while also being unfairly labeled as lazy and irresponsible.

Environment

By 2035, 2-3 billion cars will be driving on our roads and drivers will spend 20 to 40 minutes a day on average looking for parking. This has already had a large negative impact on the environment and increased CO2 emissions.  Theoretically, there are approximately 3 to 8 parking spaces available for each car on the road, but that does not seem like the case when we are driving around looking for one.  People waste gas and emit harmful fumes while circling around looking for that perfect spot on the street.  More traffic/less parking = more cars on the road for longer = pollution.  Some cities have instituted systems allowing more control over the flow of parking and traffic.  This has resulted in a better general quality of life, better air quality, and less congestion. In Barcelona, a new sustainable mobility plan has reduced traffic, created more control over public parking, increased revenues, and many new jobs.

Financial

Our country’s transportation issues have a direct impact on the economy because it makes U.S. manufacturers far less competitive globally. It does this by making it more much more expensive for other countries to use our services. It is no secret that not all manufacturing takes place in the United States, and with traffic-filled streets, congested shipping ports, and airport that are stretched incredibly thin, working with the U.S. is becoming less and less appealing.  This will of course impact our economy and job growth negatively because in addition to impacting appeal, it affects delivery times and sales.  While this does not always impact the individual directly, it will when these companies have to close and lay off their employees for reasons that have nothing to do with performance and everything to do with infrastructure.

Parking and transportation issues seem simple, but they can easily bleed into the rest of our society. Contact us to learn more about these issues and to reserve parking so that you will be part of the solution and not the problem!

ParqEx: 3 Tips and 3 Apps For Your Spring Break Traveling

3 Tips and 3 Apps For Your Spring Break Traveling

April 7th, 2016 Posted by Car, Chicago Travel Tips, Community, Parking, ParqEx No Comment yet

The days are getting longer, the temperatures are starting to rise — spring is definitely in the air. That can only mean one thing — Spring Break! Thousands of people will be doing a lot of traveling within the next few weeks. To kick things off and get your travelling juices flowing, here are 3 apps to help you with your Spring Break travels.

ParqEx: 3 Tips and 3 Apps For Your Spring Break Traveling

  1. TripIt – This travel app does it all. All you have to do is forward your confirmation emails (for hotels, car rentals, air travel, etc) to TripIt, and it will turn them all into a custom itinerary for you. You can edit that itinerary as needed, and share it with others in your party. You can do all this with the free version of the app. If you want TripIt Pro, you can also see flights in real-time, locate alternate flights, and you’ll have access to VIP travel benefits that can save you money.
  2. ParqEx – Whether you’re planning on a visit to Chicago, or you’re going to be leaving your Chicago home for a sandier, saltier destination, this handy parking app is a must-have. If you are visiting Chicago, you can use this app to make sure downtown parking will not put a crimp in your travel style. You can rent a parking spot for the duration of your trip, and not spend an arm and a leg. If you are leaving town, and you currently own a parking spot, you can rent that spot out and let it make you a little extra souvenir money while you’re gone.
  3. BringFido – For those of you who wish to travel with your four-legged furbaby, this app will be your new best friend (after the furbaby, of course!). You can search for pet-friendly hotels, dog parks, and vet clinics in and around your travel destination. There are tons of resources about travelling with your pet, and information about what you need to know if you’re looking to fly with your furry companion.

Now that you have your apps downloaded, let’s take a look at three things you don’t want to forget to do before you leave on your trip.

  1.  Don’t let your mail pile up. – Mail that is piling up can be a big tip-off to thieves that there is no one home. Make plans to have your mail picked up by a neighbor, friend, or family member. If that isn’t doable, you can also make a request with USPS to have your mail held. You can schedule a hold anywhere from 30 days in advance, all the way up til 2 a.m. CST the day you’re leaving. Bear in mind that the postal system isn’t open on Sundays so you won’t be able to make your request on that day.
  2. Get a pet-sitter. – If your pet isn’t traveling with you this time, or if you have a pet that isn’t much of a traveler (like an aquatic pet), you will want to allow plenty of time to get a pet-sitter scheduled. Leave detailed instructions for the sitter about food, treats, play time, known anxieties, medications, etc. It’s generally a good idea to have the sitter come over a few times before you leave to allow your pet time to get used to them. You will also want to leave your contact information and your vet’s contact information in a central place should the sitter have a question or an emergency.
  3. Let your bank know where you’re going. – Giving your bank a head’s up that you will be using your card in a new location can prevent them from freezing your funds. A lot of banks will monitor where (in what city) your card is used, and if an unfamiliar place pops up, they may stop all transactions to make sure it’s you that’s using your card. If you live in Ohio, and you’re going to Florida on vacation, by letting them know in advance where you will be heading, they won’t freeze your card when they see charges in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia — they’ll know the general direction you’re going in.

If you have questions about Spring Break travelling, feel free to contact us with them. Please let us know, also, if you have any questions about using the ParqEx app, or about how ParqEx works. We want to help you have a happy and safe Spring Break!

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