NYC DOT To Pilot Car-Share Program
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced plans to pilot a car-share program to reduce the agency's fleet size while also reducing the department's carbon and parking footprint in Lower Manhattan. A solicitation for vendors was released on Friday, October 2, for a program to establish a pool of up to 25 vendor-provided car-share vehicles in Lower Manhattan, replacing at least 57 agency vehicles based in Lower Manhattan. The 25 vehicles will be kept for agency use during business hours, and made available to individual car-share subscribers during evenings and weekends, expanding the availability of car sharing when individual demand is greatest. Implementing a car-share program to reduce the agency's use and size of its fleet is part of DOT's strategic plan, Sustainable Streets.
"Looking to the future, the city is increasingly using technology to make its operations more efficient and reduce its environmental impact," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik- Khan. "Other cities have found that car sharing works and we want to tap into that success with a New York City version, one that reduces the City's parking footprint and unlocks precious curb space in Lower Manhattan, where competition for parking is fierce."
Under the pilot program, car-share vehicles are stored in off-street garages in Lower Manhattan, thereby making more on-street parking available to the public in an area where spaces are very much in demand. Through this initiative, DOT's Lower Manhattan fleet would be reduced by nearly 30 percent. Additionally, the 57 agency vehicles will be reassigned, replacing older, less fuel-efficient vehicles in DOT's citywide fleet.
The number of cars to be replaced through car-share was based on an evaluation of agency vehicle use by DOT. The car-share vehicles will be hybrid low-emission models, along with two additional minivans or SUVs. DOT personnel will use these vehicles for a variety of responsibilities related to the operations, inspection, maintenance and repair of the city's streets, sidewalks, bridges and other infrastructure, as well as to attend public meetings not accessible by public transportation. DOT employees will reserve shared vehicles via a secure web-based reservation system. The car-share program will be evaluated across several criteria, including overall effectiveness, user satisfaction, cost reduction in vehicle miles traveled and the overall effect on parking in the area over the course of a year.
As part of a citywide initiative announced last year by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, DOT slashed the number of agency placards used by its fleet by 20 percent, to 535. This pilot program furthers the goals of the Mayor's sustainability agenda, PlaNYC, which seeks to reduce the City's overall greenhouse gas emissions. Industry reports on the benefits of car sharing note these systems reduce car emissions by increasing access to and use of more fuel-efficient vehicles. Where available, car-share models also have been found to lower parking demand and provide cost savings to users.