This summer, New York City will start reserving parking spaces on streets and in city-owned parking facilities for car sharing companies, after Councilmember Mark Levine’s Introduction 873 and Councilmember Rosie Mendez’s Introduction 267 passed this week. Car sharing companies will apply and share data with the Department of Transportation during this two year pilot program intended to improve New Yorkers’ access to transportation, and the environment.
As car sharing exploded mid-decade, residents who don’t live near a subway stop gained transportation options cheaper than taxis. Car sharing has also driven down the need for car-ownership, consolidating the function of each individual car on the road. The services also cut down on the number of cars circling blocks looking for a place to park.
The car sharing industry’s role in transportation has a positive impact on the environment as well. In addition to reducing parking time and total car ownership, car sharing decreases total vehicle miles traveled in a population by increasing average occupancy.
The NYLCV supports these measures by City Council as one way to enable the car sharing industry’s positive environmental impacts. Making the job easier should increase access to a functional supply of car sharing while decreasing the culture of personal vehicle ownership.