In Curb Company

Manhattan_Times_News.png By Gregg McQueen

Curb it.

The city has partnered with carsharing companies on a program Mayor Bill de Blasio hopes will encourage New Yorkers to give up their personal vehicles.

Through a two-year pilot program with Zipcar and Enterprise, which launched on June 4, the city will dedicate 230 on-street parking spaces in 14 neighborhoods for carshare vehicles.

In addition, 55 dedicated parking spots at 17 Department of Transportation (DOT) lots will be reserved for carsharing, as well as 24 spaces at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) complexes lacking nearby public transportation options.

Both Zipcar and Enterprise will provide discounts to NYCHA residents citywide, while IDNYC cardholders are eligible for a complimentary, one-year Zipcar membership.

De Blasio said the NYC Carshare program could influence city residents to ditch their cars, if they can more easily access vehicles when they need them.

“There are a lot of people who have their car in a parking space all week long and only use it really on the weekend. That’s not an optimal situation,” de Blasio said at a May 31 press conference. “So what we want to do is make it easier for people who only need a car a small amount of the time to have a great new option.”

De Blasio, who cited statistics indicating that for every shared car available, a city can take up to 20 cars off the road, bluntly assessed the need to reduce the number of cars on the city’s streets.

“If we don’t reduce the number of cars, we’re all screwed,” he stated. “Let’s be clear about it. We’ve got to find a way to address this reality.”

De Blasio said that if all went well, he envisioned “hundreds of thousands” of New Yorkers eventually using carshare services.

Rental prices for the carshare services range from $8 to $15 per hour and $69 to $121 per day, depending on location and day of the week.

“We know that this program gets more people who can’t afford a car access to a car, and gives more people who own cars the option to use one of these services instead,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

One carshare vehicle can be used by up to 70 different households, said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “That’s phenomenal efficiency in terms of the curb and just the sheer drag in terms of time, congestion, and environmental waste of people driving around trying to find parking. To reduce that could be transformative,” she said.

“Studies have shown that owning a car in New York City right now is about $9,000 a year with car payments, insurance, maintenance, as well as the hassles of parking, potential tickets, all the inconveniences of owning a car here,” Trottenberg added. “So, these carsharing models give people potentially a chance to save dramatic amounts of money.”

The neighborhoods to receive the NYC Carshare pilot are: Parkchester in the Bronx; East Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights in Manhattan; Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, East Williamsburg, Park Slope, Red Hook and Williamsburg in Brooklyn; and Eastern Rockaways, Jackson Heights, Jamaica in Queens.

Rental prices for the carshare services range from $8 to $15 per hour and $69 to $121 per day, depending on location and day of the week.

“We know that this program gets more people who can’t afford a car access to a car, and gives more people who own cars the option to use one of these services instead,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

One carshare vehicle can be used by up to 70 different households, said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “That’s phenomenal efficiency in terms of the curb and just the sheer drag in terms of time, congestion, and environmental waste of people driving around trying to find parking. To reduce that could be transformative,” she said.

“Studies have shown that owning a car in New York City right now is about $9,000 a year with car payments, insurance, maintenance, as well as the hassles of parking, potential tickets, all the inconveniences of owning a car here,” Trottenberg added. “So, these carsharing models give people potentially a chance to save dramatic amounts of money.”

The neighborhoods to receive the NYC Carshare pilot are: Parkchester in the Bronx; East Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Morningside Heights in Manhattan; Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens, East Williamsburg, Park Slope, Red Hook and Williamsburg in Brooklyn; and Eastern Rockaways, Jackson Heights, Jamaica in Queens.

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