On June 4, residents of certain New York City neighborhoods began seeing signs reserving parking spaces for Enterprise CarShare and Zipcar rentals. It’s part of a two-year pilot program unveiled in May by the mayor to promote carsharing. It will allocate 230 spots at curbside, 55 in municipal garages and 24 in New York City Housing Authority lots for the members-only autos. Customers can unlock cars via smartphone and use them for short periods of time.

The mayor characterized the program as an anti-congestion measure designed to diversify transit options and promote sustainability, like CitiBike and the public ferry program. He asserted it would ultimately liberate more parking spots across the city, citing a study claiming that “carshare” options take autos off the street.

Enterprise and Zipcar are paying a $765 licensing fee (per company) and the usual monthly rate (about $1,000) for spots in Department of Transportation lots. Some have noted that the companies are getting both city-owned space and free marketing from signs with their names on them, but the mayor heatedly insists that his administration got a “good deal.”

Enterprise and Zipcar will be exempt from alternate-side parking rules, but the city will require them to clean their spaces. The pilot will exclude Staten Island.

Source: Crain’s New York Business

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