The city’s Department of Transportation is expanding its on-street carshare program after the pilot had “encouraging results,” officials said.
The first 80 new curbside parking spaces reserved for carshare programs will be installed in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx starting Tuesday, with the goal of installing hundreds more this year. The city already has 230 curbside carshare parking locations that were installed as part of the pilot program that began in 2018.
The DOT deemed the pilot program a success in its announcement on Tuesday, reporting that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 7%, and vehicle miles traveled 6%. According to the agency, research done through customer surveys determined that for every one car shared vehicle, four personal vehicles were either not purchased or sold.
Carshare users took about 160,000 trips during the length of the pilot, with an average of 24 trips per month, per space, the DOT said.
“We now have the proof that convenient access to carshare frees New Yorkers from the burden of car ownership – while helping to fight climate change,” said DOT Commissioner Rodriguez in a statement. “Soon more New Yorkers will have access to a vehicle when required – no need to sign an expensive lease or to fret about finding a parking space.”
Car owner Micheal Curtis lives in Bay Ridge and said the program will create congestion on a crowded street.
"There's no parking as it is," he told Gothamist on Tuesday.. "You've got street dining on 5th Avenue. They should put it on 5th Avenue. I just looked for a parking spot for an hour-and-a-half."
Mariah Tarvainen moved to the block in August 2021 and doesn’t own a car. She said that living in an area with less access to public transportation had her considering getting a car, but a carshare program so close by could be a viable alternative.
“I think that Bay Ridge tends to be pretty reliant on cars overall," she said. "There just aren’t a lot of very good public transportation options out here, so I understand the need that people have to have their own cars, but I feel like, for us, that might be a service that we would utilize since we’re not car owners and it is sort of hard to get around here.”
The pilot launched five years ago aimed for 300 parking spaces, so the first 80 spots will bring the program to its original goal. The DOT shared a list of the spots will be installed in the coming weeks.
Romanos Schidraoui owns a business not far from a carshare location in Bay Ridge. He told Gothamist the program was good for all New Yorkers.
"It's a good thing for the neighbors, for the neighborhood, for the people that don't want to drive and are afraid of taking public transportation," he said.
Those in Pelham Bay and Westchester Square sections of The Bronx and Bay Ridge, and Bushwick, Brownsville, and Sunset Park, in Brooklyn will be placed this week. Spots in Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Long Island City, and Woodside, Queens will be put in place next week.
“The street is a public use and that’s why we are repurposing curbside space for a better use that is good for the environment and good for our whole city,” Rodriguez said.
This story has been updated with additional comment from city residents.