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Tech Companies Vie to Monetize the Curb and Reinvent Street Parking

Startups are scrambling to disrupt the post-pandemic parking sector, arguing that real-time data will mean less traffic and more revenue for cities.

Real-time data can bring parking management up to date, several startups say.

Real-time data can bring parking management up to date, several startups say.

Photographer: Bill Tompkins/Michael Ochs Archives via Getty Images

The humble curb is getting a lot of attention these days.

Over the last decade, the street ballet of cars, trucks and delivery vans has gained new players like ride-hailing vehicles and rented bikes and e-scooters. Add in a pandemic that turbocharged the instant-delivery ecosystem, turned parking spaces into dining rooms, and upended long-held commuting patterns, and the space beside the sidewalk has become increasingly coveted real estate. To impose order on — and extract revenue from — the crowded urban curbside, a host of private companies are jostling for market position