The city will roll out a pilot program in the spring that allows car-sharing companies such as ZipCar and Car2Go to rent out scarce public parking spaces and even metered spaces.
A shared goal of many city agencies is to minimize the number of cars in the city — on account of environmental factors, space, and traffic, among other reasons. The City Council Committee on Transportation heard testimony from the commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation Polly Trottenberg, as well as representatives from some car sharing companies Monday that made the case that carsharing services can dramatically reduce the number of cars kept in the city.
The idea is to have a mini-fleet of cars available to more people in more locations around the city, even in the outer boroughs where parking garages and lots are fewer and farther away. For instance, several Enterprise cars could be parked around the corner from your apartment.
The proposal is based on a study conducted across five cities (Washington, San Diego, Seattle, and Vancouver and Calgary, Canada) showing that an average of nine cars were taken off the road for every ride-sharable car brought to a fleet. In Calgary, 11 cars were taken off the streets for each shared car.
The program would consider using some “underused” parking spaces designated for some subsidized residents in NYCHA housing, and senior housing and at hospitals. The pilot will designate 300 spaces in public parking facilities, and another 300 on-street spaces.
I've found that people who use these services generally don't own cars. They mostly are subway riders but avail themselves of the carshare when they have to travel to distant places or have a complicated route. We'll see just how many cars are "taken off the streets".