Los Angeles wants to ban parking auction apps

File: Expired parking meter
File: Expired parking meter
Photo by Timothy Valentine via Flickr Creative Commons

The city of Los Angeles wants to prevent companies from auctioning off parking spaces through new mobile phone apps such as MonkeyParking and Haystack.

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the City Council voted Friday 11-0 to ask city lawyers to draft a measure similar to those passed in other cities that have opposed the practice.

The apps alert users when parking spaces in high-demand areas are free and auction them off to the highest bidder.

The person in the spot shares the money paid with the company, which hires drivers to circle neighborhoods and snap up prime spaces.

Los Angeles joins other cities from Beverly Hills to Boston that want to stop private companies from "squatting" in spaces that should be available on a first-come, first-served basis.