The city’s Department of Transportation sent letters out early last month notifying local community boards about the expansion of its carshare program, which offers dedicated curbside parking to companies providing short-term car rentals.
The program, which was piloted in 2018, will allow companies like Zipcar and Enterprise Carshare to request designated curbside and municipal parking facility spaces around NYC. Carshare companies will be required to pay a fee for curbside parking spaces, generating $475 per space.
As first reported by Patch, the DOT’s Carshare program has indicated 16 parking spots in the Upper East Side that will be reserved; split between 8 different blocks with two spots each (the full list can be found in the DOT’s letter to Community Board 8).
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that a combination of pandemic-related car purchases, on-street dining structures, and twice weekly sanitation sweeps had car owners desperate to find spots. And according to Spot Angels’ analysis of parking ticket trends in NYC, the Upper East Side pays more than any other NYC neighborhood.
Still, proponents of the DOT’s Carshare program point to the 2018 pilot’s success in lowering greenhouse emissions, and overall car ownership – an important step in meeting the city’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. The city’s report on the Carshare pilot concludes that the 285 designated spaces used beginning in 2018 have already lowered city gas emissions by 7%.
The Carshare program is also being used to increase equitable access to personal vehicle use around the city. Companies have been and will continue to be required to place 20% of their on-street parking in neighborhoods identified as being historically underserved, with additional incentives to offer low-income discounts.
While the expansion of the Carshare program may put an even tighter squeeze on already beleaguered car-owners, the city’s data suggests it’s an important step in “improving local air quality, reducing congestion, lowering household transportation costs, [and] improving mobility options for New Yorkers.”