Parking at Arizona State University can be expensive, so two students created a workaround - AirGarage. And one year after launching, half of their users are churches.
"It's taken a tremendous load off the office," said Pat Baker with Community Christian Church.
She said they were already renting their spaces to students and faculty, just using their own system.
"We still have a mortgage and we’re a small church," Baker said. "Our members are generous with their donations but things come up. We just had to replace our air conditioners."
She also said the money they make from AirGarage goes toward their service projects.
"We provide lunches and lunch bags and water for people who come into the office," Baker said. "We let homeless sleep in our fellowship hall at least once a month and we provide dinner."
"You want to focus your energy on running a church or running a business. Let us focus our energy on managing your parking lot," said Jonathan Barkl with AirGarage.
He said it's a win-win for churches like Baker's and students like him.
"The average ASU parking pass is $690. With AirGarage, it's an average of $45 a month, which comes out to $350 for the school year," Barkl said.
They charge a 12 percent fee for renters, and so far in Tempe alone, they've seen about $100,000 change hands.
"That’s funding that’s gone directly into the pockets of the people who own those spaces," Barkl said.
The City of Tempe said they would look into whether any complaints have been filed in the last year. When we inquired last July, when AirGarage launched, they told us Tempe has ordinances against displaying a product outside your home related to your business -- in this case, a car.
The City of Phoenix said you'd only have a problem if someone filed a complaint, which they haven't received, or if someone is selling their space in a residential-only zoning area.
AirGarage is launching in Tucson and has plans to expand to more college towns.
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