NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced yesterday the expansion of the city’s curbside car share programme to increase access to convenient car sharing following a 5-year pilot that showed a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and personal car ownership.

Over the coming two weeks, the Department of Transportation will install new signs to demarcate the first 80 new, dedicated curbside parking spaces for car share service across Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, “with an explicit focus on equitable access”.

The 2023 goal is to add several hundred more on-street parking spaces to the existing 230, in collaboration with the three car sharing services that are active in the city: Zipcar, Getaround and Truqit.

DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said:

We now have the proof that convenient access to carshare frees New Yorkers from the burden of car ownership – while helping to fight climate change. Soon more New Yorkers will have access to a vehicle when required – no need to sign an expensive lease or to fret about finding a parking space.

With thanks to the Mayor for his support, we are excited to build on the successes of our pilot, cutting down greenhouse gas emissions and vehicle miles traveled, while supporting efficient use of space at the curb. We encourage New Yorkers to give this great program a try!

Car sharing allows members to use a car for a short period of time, such as by the hour or day, at a cost that includes maintenance. The vehicles are parked in publicly accessible neighbourhood locations around the city and members can reserve vehicle via their smartphone.

The original pilot programme run by the DOT was launched in 2018 with a goal of 300 spaces in on-street parking spaces and in DOT-managed public parking lots.

As part of the expansion, the DOT and the car share companies have identified 80 curbside parking spaces and installation will begin immediately.

The new locations are being chosen by the participating car share companies who have data on customer demand as well as on household demographics. The locations must conform with criteria established by the NYC DOT to ensure the service is available to New York City residents in Equity Zone Areas.

These are some of the pilot’s results:

  • Car share users too around 160,000 trips in total during the pilot, with an average of 24 trips per month per space
  • Via detailed customer surveys, researchers concluded that for every car shared within the city, four personal vehicles were either sold or not purchased
  • Comparing their pre-car share behaviour, car share users in the pilot drove fewer miles (7 percent reduction)
  • After the first year of the pilot, unauthorised use of on-street car share parking spaces declined significantly, after the DOT allowed the car share companies to clearly mark their spaces with ‘Carshare Parking Only’
Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn Borough President, said:

Less cars on the street is always a good thing, but we have to keep pushing for a city that puts people first and prioritizes strong, reliable public transportation.

This is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to continuing to work with DOT Commissioner Rodriguez toward a truly safe, sustainable, and healthy New York.

Assembly Member Jenifer Rajkumar highlighted how this service was particularly valuable in neighbourhoods where public transit was not available, meaning residents were reliant on personal vehicles. She also pointed to the benefit of being freed from the financial and logistical burden of car ownership while still having access to a vehicle.

Julie Tighe, President of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said:

It is great to see the success of the New York City Department of Transportation's carshare pilot and we applaud Commissioner Rodriguez for expanding this environmentally friendly program even further.

When we first advocated for the city to dedicate curbside parking spaces for carshare service, we knew it would result in fewer single-use private cars on the road and less fossil fuel emissions pouring into our air, and that is exactly what has borne out. With the DOT now dedicating an additional 80 streetside parking spaces to car share rides, it's a win for the environment and a win for equitable access to transportation.


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