Parking angels watching over Santa Monica

The dreaded parking ticket. When it hits you, your day can never recover from it. This is where the Ticket Angels, come in.

The Ticket Angels, a Santa Monica based business born this year, was founded by Matt Hanigan and Christopher Harati with one simple mission: to save people money. For a cost of $45 per year and $15 for each additional vehicle (less than the cost of one ticket), you can enlist the services of the Angels to prevent you from getting any future street sweeping tickets. Customers receive a sticker to identify their vehicle, and the Angels patrol the streets on street sweeping days. If you need to move your car, they will either text, call, or knock on your door according to your preference. The best part? If you aren't notified at least once at year's end your subscription fee is eligible to be refunded, or if you do receive a ticket under their careful watch, your ticket is paid in full by the Angels.

Harati, who came to L.A. to act, and Hanigan, who has a master's degree in archaeology, formed Bright Business Ventures, which is the umbrella company for the Ticket Angels. They have signed up 350 subscribers since they began getting clients in spring of this year. The concept of the business was inspired by Hanigan who, in true Good Samaritan fashion, once knocked on Harati's door to let him know he needed to move his car or he was going to get a ticket. Harati, then a college student, was so appreciative, he began thinking other people may want a service that helps them save money from tickets and approached Hanigan. The partnership was formed this year and the rest, as they say, is (Angels') history.

Santa Monica makes an estimated "14 million dollars in parking violations, with around seven million dollars" attributed solely to street sweeping tickets as Hanigan claims. Seeing how the Ticket Angels have notified 80 percent of their subscribers since April and prevented 350 tickets, they are saving their customers from one of the most expensive tickets around. Santa Monica resident Grant Guthrie, disheartened by the ten street sweeping tickets he received in the past three years, can attest to the benefits of the service, who assuredly states it "will pay for itself a few times over." Guthrie explains that since he became a subscriber in early summer, he has already been saved from two parking tickets and feels it is definitely "money well spent." The added bonus to saving money is that ten percent of all of the company's profits are donated to charity.

Additionally, there is an environmental factor that motivates the Angels to soar to new heights: reducing their customers' carbon footprint. A subscription with the Angels may not just save you money, but ensures that debris under your vehicle will not go to the blue oceans, which helps the environment and also keeps California beautiful.

Receiving no opposition yet from the city of Santa Monica, the biggest obstacle the Ticket Angels face is, as Hanigan puts it, "whether or not the general public is committed to making the business work." With the inception of the Ticket Angels, the partners had to work hard to convince people they were a legitimate business that could help them, a struggle which Hanigan asserts they are still "up against on a daily, if not hourly, basis." As part of their philanthropic spirit, the Angels have saved plenty of non subscribers from parking tickets (some have been saved from upwards of $400 in tickets), but some people still refuse to believe the service is worthwhile and may benefit them; a frustrating fact considering, as Harati notes, "we have the ability to abolish 75 percent of street cleaning tickets."

Ultimately hoping to expand to all of L. A. County and cover more than just street sweeping, the Angels hope to save more people from tickets and bad days. The business is always expanding, and they're always looking for people to join their team. With approximately "812 tickets given out every day in Santa Monica" according to Harati, you may not be able to turn down these earth Angels, two modern day super heroes just trying to save the world, one parking ticket at a time.