Parking Panda Launches in HoustonA brand-new parking solution is launching in Houston today — and it promises to disrupt the parking industry as we know it — in a good way. Not only will it save folks time but also money.

With Parking Panda, Houstonians can find and purchase a parking spot in advance for the big concert or sporting event. Folks have access to real-time inventory from the Web site or mobile app, which provides an unprecedented level of visibility and control of their parking options — often at a discount. Houston is Parking Panda’s 7th city to launch nationwide.

According to Parking Panda CEO Nick Miller, Houstonians will be able to save on parking in two ways. First, since Parking Panda helps parking garages manage their lots more efficiently, they often offer discounts to customers who reserve online when their lots aren’t full. Folks can save up to 70% off the drive-up rates during off-peak times when operators are willing to drop the price to Parking Panda users.

“We also give people options that suit their needs,” Miller relates. “If you would like to pay more to have a guaranteed spot right next to the stadium, that is an option. But if you prefer to save money you can also find a cheaper lot a few blocks away.”

Parking Panda TCenter screenshotHow does it work? Take a concert at the Toyota Center, for example. If you have tickets to Michael Buble, Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake or any concerts there this fall, you can already purchase your parking spot in advance. Simply select the event date, and Parking Panda will list the real-time parking options around the venue. Users also have the option to reserve on-the-go with the iPhone and Android mobile app and pay electronically. The Toyota Center garage is not included.

Just like Open Table for restaurant reservations, Parking Panda helps provide transparency so that drivers know where to find available parking spaces, and garage operators can fill their spots more efficiently. Private home owners even have the opportunity to rent parking spaces where they live to make some extra money.

Research from UCLA professor of urban planning Donald Shoup reveals drivers spend an average of 8.1 minutes per day cruising for city parking — often to find a spot cheaper or free. This is also the cause for about 30 percent of our traffic congestion.

Save with a promo code! Houston on the Cheap readers can save 50% off a one-time parking spot purchase through July 31. Use promo code HOUSTONPANDA. Think about any concerts, sporting events, or other activities where you will need to park in Houston and save extra this week.