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Mobile parking app downed by San Francisco city authorities

Parking spaces in San Francisco will once again be first-come, first-served after an app that allowed residents to buy and sell spaces disabled its service at the behest of the city’s authorities.

Related: San Francisco parking apps facing legal battle

Rome-based MonkeyParking was forced to shutter its app after being served with a cease and desist letter by the City of San Francisco that made it clear it could cost $2,500 [£1,500] every time the rules are violated.

“We are working to avoid any possible improper use of our service and provide a positive tool for the City of San Francisco and its inhabitants,” read a blog post from the company.

San Francisco first moved to ban the app at the end of last month due to the fact it facilitated a “predatory private market for public parking spaces” and the cease and desist letter gave MonkeyParking up until today to stop operating in San Francisco.

It was also rumoured that San Francisco city authorities were thinking about fining those people using the service as well as MonkeyParking itself.

Two other firms that offer parking space sales in San Francisco – namely Sweetch and Parkmodo – are also affected by the ruling, according to the BBC, and Parkmodo has already suspended its service whilst continuing to operate in New York and Chicago.

Sweetch, meanwhile, is still running its service as it doesn’t provide an auction and instead users pay a single fee for information and can only pay for the service using credits built up within Sweetch or ask the company to donate to charity.

MonkeyParking is still operating in Rome and it is “reviewing” the situation in San Francisco before attempting to relaunch the service at some point in the future.