May 31, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city is setting aside dozens of public parking spaces in Williamsburg for a car-sharing program launching next week throughout four boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
In Williamsburg, 26 on-street parking spaces will be reserved for the Department of Transportation’s car-share pilot beginning on June 4, with an additional 20 parking spaces set aside in East Williamsburg. The pilot program will last for two years.
The two neighborhoods represent 14 citywide areas that will see a total of 230 on-street parking spaces taken up for the pilot, which involves customers paying to use a car from either Enterprise or Zipcar for short-term use. Drivers who park their non-carshare vehicle in a car-share site could be subject to fines and towing, the city said.
In Williamsburg, the car-share sites are primarily between McGolrick Park and the Williamsburg Bridge, west of Marcy and Meeker Avenues.
For example, Bedford Avenue from North 12th Street down to South 2nd Street has five car-share sites, with others on Driggs Avenue, Roebling Street, and other areas for a total of 12 sites.
The city has also reserved 10 sites in East Williamsburg for car-share parking. The sites are generally between Union Avenue and Bushwick Avenue, including Humboldt Street, Meserole Street, and Grand Street.
Signs have gone up in the 14 selected neighborhoods making clear which spaces are for car-share vehicles. The signs also state whether a space is for an Enterprise CarShare vehicle or ZipCar vehicle.
In addition to off-street parking, the city is also dedicating a total of 55 dedicated parking spaces at 17 DOT municipal parking sites in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens.
The city is also including some parking spots at NYCHA developments in the pilot program, with Zipcar teaming up with NYCHA to provide housing residents with a no-fee service for one year.
IDNYC cardholders also have access to a complimentary one year-membership to Zipcar, which includes a waived application fee and driving discounts.
In all, about 309 parking spaces will be dedicated to car sharing in the two-year pilot. Both companies are each paying a meager $765 a year for access to all the off-street parking spots, and the regular fee for municipal spots.
The city said it is launching the pilot as a way to see if car sharing can relieve traffic congestion and provide a reliable and affordable travel alternative for New Yorkers living in transit deserts.
“For every vehicle in a car-share program, up to twenty households can forgo the need to own a car, fighting congestion and making our air cleaner,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement.
The pilot is a long time coming, and came about with the public and the DOT looking at areas where car sharing could work through interactive maps and interactions with DOT Street Ambassadors in pilot zones.
To use the car-share service in this pilot, customers can apply directly to Zipcar and/or Enterprise CarShare for membership. Pricing is between $8 to $18 the hour, with membership fees between $40 to $70 a year, the city said.
The rides under the pilot are round-trip, meaning customers must return the cars to the same spot they picked them up from at the end of use. Customers, however, are free to park wherever is legal in between the session.
For more information on the pilot, include where the car-sharing sites are, visit the DOT’s CarShare portal.