If you have a car in San Francisco you're probably a) really popular with your friends, especially when they're running low on groceries and on sunny weekends and b) have paid off lots of parking tickets. The former is not going to change, but the latter could, with an app called Fixed.
According to NPR, nearly half of all parking tickets are dismissed in court. But most people just pay because they don't have time (or energy) to make it to court to fight the ticket (Hell, some of us are even too lazy to pay our parking tickets and end up getting the boot. If you do, don't be this guy.) David Hegarty was one of those people, until he realized how easy it can be to dismiss the charges in court. After getting five tickets within a short period of time and winning all the cases against them, he came up with Fixed, an app that sends a parking expert to fight your tickets in court so you don't have to.
How it works is pretty easy. Using the app, take a picture of the parking ticket and type in the violation number. The Fixed app will use your photo as evidence, preparing a contest letter that you sign, to represent your case in court. It will even tell you the probability of winning your case, as well as supplementing evidence on your behalf. If you win, you pay 25% of the cost of your ticket to Fixed; if you lose, you pay nothing to Fixed, but you still have to pay your parking ticket, of course.
So far, Fixed is only available in San Francisco, but it's been so popular of a service that there's a wait list. Hegarty told NPR that he plans to expand the app to work in other cities soon.
Photo by Dave Schumaker