By Ben Fractenberg
MANHATTAN — The City Planning Commission announced a new plan to promote car sharing services such as Zipcar.
The program would expand the number of locations, either in parking garages or in lots, where New Yorkers can rent cars by the hour and drop them off. Three car-sharing companies currently operate in New York City: Zipcar, Connect by Hertz and Mint Cars On-Demand.
“By facilitating this efficient and affordable transportation alternative, we expect to give families more choice in transportation, increase New Yorkers’ mobility, reduce neighborhood parking woes and traffic congestion and ensure cleaner air, quieter streets and an improved quality of life,” Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said in a statement.
Individual parking facilities will be able to choose whether to allow the cars. The city will then determine the number of cars at the location based on market demand in the area.
To weigh the advantages of using shared cars New Yorkers should visit provider websites. Zipcar users in New York and New Jersey, for example, need to pay a $50 yearly annual membership fee, a $25 application fee and hourly car rates start at $8. Daily rates start at $77.
Roughly 40 to 50 people use one shared vehicle, the Planning Commission estimated, as opposed to one or two people per privately owned car.