Transportation reservation services like Discount Park and Ride intend to streamline your travel experience, whether you’re heading out of town for a business trip or a vacation cruise.
The Tampa startup launched in March 2014 to offer travelers a tailored parking solution -- and is quickly picking up speed in the national transportation sector.
Discount Park and Ride
already has 35 partners across major U.S. markets, including San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Boston, Miami, and, of course, Tampa.
How does it work? DPR partners with local parking lots to help travelers search for a safe place to park their cars. Partner facilities offer shuttles services and guaranteed reservations in off-site locations.
Concerned about just where these “off-site” locations may be? Discount Park and Ride has thought of that. Browse each location in advance and compare with other parking options through an interactive map on the DPR website. Local parking partners in Tampa, for example, include Memorial Airport Parking
and Embassy Suites Tampa Airport/Westshore
Consumers can search the Discount Park and Ride website by filters like price, location, service offerings, and distance from the airport/seaport; reviews and detailed information like shuttle frequency and payment methods are also available.
“Our goal is to provide value for the consumer and a prime customer experience,” says Discount Park and Ride President and co-Founder Alex Miningham.
Miningham attended Florida State University
and holds an MBA in Business. A serial entrepreneur, he co-founded software technology startup inDegree
as well as Capital Parking, a former parking company in Tampa. The company quickly expanded from a valet parking business servicing local high-end restaurants into a surface lot management company with a focus on airport and seaport parking in Tampa.
In 2013, HEPdata Inc
. acquired inDegree. Shortly after, Miningham left his role at Capital Parking to found Discount Park and Ride.
DPR plans to spread out into other sectors of parking, from special events at sports and concert venues to off-street and garage parking in large metropolitan areas of the country.
Miningham cites problems in the parking industry between “brick-and-mortar facilities and third-party reservation companies” as part of the inspiration for founding Discount Park and Ride. DPR aims to eliminate some of the industry’s problems by offering parking partners a host of tools to manage and modify data, from listings to pricing to sales reports.
So far, feedback from industry partners has been positive. In fact, Discount Park and Ride is expanding much more rapidly than originally anticipated, says Miningham, with partners in major markets nationwide after only one month of operation.
Discount Park and Ride isn’t the first company to offer parking and shuttle service to and from facilities like airports; Park N’ Fly
also operates in the Tampa Bay area. The difference, according to Miningham, is scale.
“Park N’ Fly is a nationally branded parking company with brick-and-mortar locations nationwide who have struck partnerships on a very small scale with strategic partners in certain markets. DPR, on the other hand, doesn’t operate any brick and mortar facilities; rather, we strike partnerships with facilities across the nation on a much larger scale,” Miningham explains.
Discount Park and Ride currently employs 15 people in the Tampa Bay region. The company, which raised over $1 million in a seed round of financing through a private equity firm, is currently closing in on its second round of funding.
“We’re excited to continue our expansion with a focus on innovation along the way,” Miningham says. “Our ultimate goal is to be the go-to reservation company for consumers when they’re looking to reserve parking across any sector.”
Writer: Justine Benstead
Source: Alex Miningham, Discount Park and Ride