If you ask most students what the worst thing about MSU is, many of them will say parking. Don’t get us wrong, we love this campus. But when you live two miles away and it’s 10 degrees outside, you just want to find a closer place to park.
Enter, Prndl. For those unfamiliar with the famous line from London Tipton, it’s pronounced “prindle”, and it’s about to change the parking game. Prndl is a new app designed by two MSU students, Zach Brewer, Marketing major, and Drew Piotrowski, Advertising major.
The app allows you to find a parking spot wherever you may need it. If you’re in town for a sports event, need to leave your car somewhere while you’re traveling or simply don’t want to get a ticket while you’re in class, Prndl is your new go-to.
If you have a parking space that’s not in use, the app will also let you rent it out. Considering the fact that MSU’s Parking Police have issued over 48,000 tickets this year, Prndl is sure to make parking on and near campus a lot less stressful.
A Long Time Coming
So, in the midst of their college careers, how did two students come up with such an idea? The frustration that comes along with parking at MSU was inspiration enough.
“Parking problems came up on a daily basis in my first couple years at MSU,” said Brewer. “I was the lucky recipient of over $1,000 in parking tickets. Many of my friends were in similar positions.”
Those who know MSU know that this campus isn’t exactly small. With dozens of buildings and nearby businesses, it’s hard to believe that there aren’t more places to secure a spot.
“The recurring parking issues seemed strange because I’d often notice open parking spaces all over town,” said Brewer. “Most of these open spaces were “reserved” for specific people at specific times. This resulted in a majority of spots going unused, while hundreds of people would circle around in their cars looking for spots.”
To Brewer and Piotrowski, there were simply too many spaces being wasted. After realizing that there was an untapped market and a way to solve a majority of the parking issues in East Lansing, they decided to develop the app.
An App for Everyone
Wondering how you can secure or host your spot? Setting up an account on Prndl is a simple process that should only take you a minute or two.
“Users have two choices— they can search for parking spots in the area and reserve them ahead of time, or they can list their own parking spot,” said Brewer. “People that need parking spots (parkers) can book spaces as far in advance as they’d like. Users that list their spots (hosts) set their own prices and availability.”
Brewer said that parkers have booked spots weeks in advance and hosts are able to open their spots whenever they like. Prndl provides an on/off switch, which lets hosts take their spot on and off the market at any time.
Looking to Grow
Creating an app is no small feat, and Brewer and Piotrowski are grateful for the support they’ve received thus far.
“We’ve gotten a lot of support through The Hatch at MSU,”said Brewer. “There are some very helpful people and resources at the Spartan Innovations department. We were also members of MSU’s business accelerator over the summer—Conquer Accelerator— and plan on doing another round of fundraising in the near future.”
Currently, Brewer and Piotrowski are focused on growing the app within East Lansing, but according to Brewer, they plan on expanding once they have some initial bugs worked out.
So next time you’re trying to escape the wrath of PACE, look no further. Prndl is available for iPhones and Androids, and can also be used on its website
By Katie Kochanny