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#ParkingPersonalities: Tim Wootton / Rover Parking

Ruth Goodwin


Tim Wootton / Founder of Rover Parking / Toronto

ABOUT ROVER PARKING: Rover is a dedicated marketplace for private parking giving individuals or small businesses the ability to rent out their parking spots in way that was not possible before Rover. These parking spots are then made available on a real-time hourly basis to anyone who is looking to park.


DESCRIBE YOUR JOB IN A NUTSHELL… Start-ups are an exciting job, especially in Toronto where the start-up community is growing stronger by the day. The role of any founder in a start-up is to ensure that each meeting you take and each decision you make moves the company forward. In the technology sector time is of the essence and making decisions as opposed to deliberating them is crucial. The job in a nutshell, for myself at Rover right now is to increase the supply of parking spots each day by constantly improving the technology, building partnerships and taking the time to talk to our customers.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE PARKING INDUSTRY? WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHANGE YOU'VE SEEN SO FAR? I have been in the parking industry for slightly over a year, however have been struggling with the parking process for over 15 years. Mobile processing is the biggest change I have personally experienced and it is still in its infancy. Less than 1% of parking is currently paid for by mobile processing so while the change is happening it still very new even though it is spoken about constantly. 

WHERE DO YOU SEE THE INDUSTRY HEADED? IN WHAT WAYS WILL PARKING BE DIFFERENT IN 5 YEARS? I am a little biased here! However, the way many industries seem to be headed is towards the sharing economy and making use of unused assets. AirBnB and Uber are the obvious examples of this however many industries are starting to see their own versions of the sharing economy and parking is at the forefront. Cities such as Toronto have limited real estate so making use of under-utilized space is extremely important. Technology in parking will continue to evolve and so will the supply. The question is what will that supply end up looking like? The mixture is already changing and I expect in 5 years cities around the world will adopt the sharing economy model for parking.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PARKING PET PEEVE?  After being so entrenched in the parking process over the past year, my list is a long one! So taking my Rover hat off, and thinking about the last time I used what I call traditional parking I would have to say the payment process is what gets me every time in Toronto. The fact that when I park on the street I have to walk to a machine, put in my credit card, wait for it to initialize, think about how long I want to park for, pay, take the ticket, walk back to my car and put the ticket on my dash frustrates me to no end. On top of that, should I decide I want to park there a little longer, I have to come back to the car and go through the entire process again. Everyone has been through this, most people have got tickets, the lucky ones haven’t. All I have to say is there is a better way!