This is a great progressive experiment. Surrender your Parking Permit!
Hoboken, where getting around in a car is challenging but parking is nightmare, is launching an incentive program to encourage what’s already trending there, a culture way less dependent on motor vehicles. What Mayor Dawn Zimmer calls “more convenient, less expensive, healthier, and more environmentally friendly alternatives to owning a car in Hoboken.”
Hoboken residents who surrender their parking permits will be trading them in not only for less congested streets (and better air) but also a $500 incentive package which includes a $100 driving credit for Corner Cars, the country’s first city-wide car-sharing service (which launched this summer), a commuter bike helmet and other bike safety equipment, running socks, pedometer, running shoe coupon, 6-month unlimited shuttle pass, car rental discounts, freebies for PATH ridership, maps to find Hobokens bike lanes and racks and other goodies.
Hoboken’s reputation is as a city of young adults, and clearly some of this is pitched for their maximum mobility, but it also may benefit low income people who can’t afford the cost to own and park in Hoboken, and seniors or others on fixed income who need to get around but can use the Hop shuttle and Corner Cars.
Since the launch of Corner Cars, nine parking permits have been turned in, before the official launch of this incentive program. I’ll be interested to see two things out of this: (1) Will the city be able to renew some of the incentives after the first year, with for example reduced shuttle fares and Corner Car incentives for those without parking permits, so their lower-cost mobility continues to be supported (2) Will there be a package that is more specifically targeted at seniors or disabled who might be more interested in using the fare/cost reduction goodies and less able to rely on the biking and walking advantages.
More than 500 Hoboken residents are now members of the Corner Cars program.