For first time, New York City will reserve curbside and municipal lot parking spaces across 29 neighborhoods and 11 New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complexes solely for carsharing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the city will dedicate 309 parking spots to carshare programs. The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will dedicate 285 parking spaces through the DOT NYC Carshare pilot for Zipcar and Enterprise CarShare vehicles on streets in select neighborhoods as well as in DOT municipal parking lots.
"For the first time ever, the city is setting aside dedicated parking spots to expand access to carshare programs," said Mayor de Blasio.
"For every vehicle in a carshare program, up to 20 households can forgo the need to own a car, fighting congestion and making our air cleaner," said the mayor.
Curbside regulations noting the exact locations of the NYC DOT Carshare two-year pilot are now posted in neighborhoods in four of the city's five boroughs. The locations were selected after extensive community consultations.
Enterprise CarShare and Zipcar vehicles are expected to be available to rent from those designated spots starting on Monday, June 4.
"Our carshare pilot will give New Yorkers a chance to try a new affordable, convenient transportation option, which we hope will also ease parking pressure at our curbs and reduce congestion," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
Carsharing is not just for wealthy New Yorkers. NYCHA, which provides housing for low and moderate income residents throughout the city, will start a new partnership with Zipcar, dedicating 24 previously vacant parking spaces at certain public housing developments to place new Zipcar vehicles.
Many NYCHA developments sit in less dense areas of the city and are effectively "transit deserts," said Trottenberg.
The lack of public transportation in these areas limits residents' opportunities and impacts potential job or quality of life possibilities for public housing residents.
"We’re also bringing more carshare options to NYCHA residents to help them get around, so we can continue building the fairest big city in America," said de Blasio.
Both Enterprise CarShare and Zipcar will offer discounts to NYCHA residents citywide.
"We are thrilled to partner with Zipcar on this opportunity to bridge transit deserts and provide better connected communities for our residents," said NYCHA Executive Vice President for External Affairs David Pristin. "One of our NextGeneration NYCHA goals is to empower residents, helping them improve their quality of life.
Data shows that one carshare vehicle can be shared by up to 70 individuals. Research evaluating these programs in other cities across the country shows that five to 20 private vehicles are sold or never purchased, for every one carshare vehicle made available.
For New York City, this could mean fewer cars competing for parking at the curb, and improved mobility for households that do not own their own car. A family that uses its car only a few times per month can save the thousands of dollars per year in costs incurred for car payments, maintenance, insurance, and parking tickets.
"Carshare services will help more New Yorkers access cars when they need to without the expense, the extra congestion, and the environmental impacts of full-time car ownership," said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. "Pilot programs to reserve spaces for carsharing on our streets and in our public parking facilities are forward-thinking steps toward a more sustainable future."
By Sunny Lewis
Environment News Service (ENS)
June 4, 2018