A $100 Hammer Might be Underpriced

I spoke to a student from USC this morning. He was calling to learn ‘more about the parking industry.’ He is developing an app to enable students to communicate “peer to peer” and share rides and parking.

My first question was how much does he pay for parking now. He said about $40 a month. But he felt that was too much. Students just didn’t have that kind of money. (They had enough to pay for a car, gas, insurance, maintenance, and the rest, but not enough to pay $40 for parking.)

He wanted to develop a system of parking areas off campus (like the local church) where commuting students could park. Fair enough. I asked him how much the Church should charge. He said that certainly less than the $40 per month they now pay. He seemed perplexed when I told him that the church would most likely have to hire an attendant or security to protect the cars, insurance to protect the church, lighting, maintenance to sweep and clean the lot, considerable bureaucracy to issue and maintain the permits plus enforcement. If the church had 100 spaces at $40 per, the resulting four grand would hardly cover the costs.

A lot of these apps enable people to share their driveway with others to provide parking in dense areas. Its only one space, should a homeowner charge for that space? I would think that for no other reason than the trouble you have to go through having a stranger parking on your property should be worth something. I wonder if my student friend does.

I don’t mean to run down this fellow, I know he means well. But shouldn’t we be teaching courses in the value of stuff? How much does land cost? How about insurance, security, paving, lighting. Do they know that $15 an hour really means around $22 after you include all the taxes and the rest? Plus if you are dealing with a governmental agency, perhaps a $100 hammer is getting off cheap.

Just sayin


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