We Check Profiles
Latest News
Past Articles

CurbTXT Lets Drivers Warn Each Other Of Impending Tows

In a piece of interesting towing news, a startup is piloting a new service which uses cell phone text messages to allow people to alert vehicle owners that they are illegally parked so that they can avoid an expensive ticket and a visit from the tow truck. The service, which is called CurbTXT, started about five months ago and is currently only available in San Francisco. The founders hope that they can encourage the city of San Francisco to accelerate the adoption of the service by integrating into their parking management system.

CurbTXT is simple in its execution. You sign up online to become a member and they send you a bumper sticker to put on your car with the CurbTXT number on it. If anyone is walking by and notices that you are double parked or even that you just left your lights on, they can text the CurbTXT number and enter your license plate and their message and it will be delivered directly to your cell phone. The idea is to allow people who are walking by to be good samaritans and to help you avoid a ticket or an unwanted visit from a tow operator. Instead of posting a note which may not be seen in time (and requires you to have pen and paper on you), concerned passersby can simply text the CurbTXT number and enter your license plate and their message (“Hey, your parking meter expired!”)

New service in San Francisco lets people warn each other of impending tows. (photo by Transport to treasure! via Flickr)

New service in San Francisco lets people warn each other of impending tows. (photo by Transport to treasure! via Flickr)

There seems to be no shortage of interesting tech-based start-ups these days (especially in the Bay Area-Silicon Valley region) and CurbTXT certainly has a possibility to get big, but it is currently waiting for that big publicity boost (local news has covered the service, but it hasn’t quite gone ‘viral’ yet). That’s why the founders are lobbying the city to encourage drivers to utilize the service. They say that integrating this service into San Francisco’s parking management will benefit both drivers and the city. They would have the city integrate the service into its parking enforcement practices, so that parking officers could notify drivers that they are parked illegally and at risk of being towed, before they actually contact a tow operator. The city keeps the revenue for the ticket, the driver at least doesn’t get towed (if they fix the problem quickly enough) and everybody goes home happy. Except, of course, the tow operator who gets cut out of the equation.

So, this piece of towing news is a mixed bag for San Francisco-based towing companies. Unless the tow operator who shows up in the tow truck can find a way to beat the city to the punch, tow companies may be looking at some lost revenue.

Leave a Reply