Vancouver considering allowing car share vehicles to park in metered spaces

Jul 5 2019, 5:08 am

Vancouver City Council is set to consider a number of recommendations by city staff that will improve the convenience and usability of car share services, particularly when it comes to parking and dropping off vehicles.

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Car share vehicles can currently park in resident permit parking and resident parking-only spaces, but these vehicles cannot park on the curb side of commercial areas, which are increasingly typically paid metered spaces.

“This often does not provide convenient options when car sharing vehicles are used for trips to commercial areas for activities such as shopping and dining. This may also lead to extra travel by car sharing vehicles that are searching for dedicated space,” reads a city staff report.

To address this, the city is considering allowing one-way car share vehicles to end trips in metered parking spaces, as well as a limited number of one-way zero emission car share vehicles — hydrogen and electric-battery vehicles — to end their trips in metered parking areas at a 50% discount. Each car share company could have up to 250 active incentive permits by 2024.

But the city plans to recover the full cost of metered parking from the car share companies through new agreements. This could generate between $150,000 and $250,000 in revenue for the city per month.

Another incentive would allow car share vehicles to have free stopovers at metered parking spaces, up to a maximum of two hours when they are actively rented. There is a possibility this could result in a parking revenue decrease of $20,000 per month.

As well, the city is considering waiving parking permit fees for a number of zero-emission car share vehicles. Permits currently cost $77.19 plus GST annually, and such savings could encourage car share companies to adopt zero-emission vehicles in their car share fleets. This will also be limited to up to 250 permits per company by 2024, with a city cost of up to $84,000 per year.

And finally, a new flat rate could be charged for some reserved parking spaces in paid metered areas for zero-emission car share vehicles. Current costs per space range between $3,000 to $15,000 per year, which is cost prohibitive for all companies and for this reason no spaces have ever been reserved for these amounts. As the proposed limit is only 50 metered parking spaces, the cost to the city is expected to be relatively minimal.

“To allow and encourage zero emission car sharing vehicles to take advantage of this space, it is recommended that dedicated spaces be provided at a lower, flat rate which is based on off-street commercial parking space costs,” adds the city staff report.

According to city staff, about 34% of Vancouver adults have a car share membership, and a 2017 survey by Vancity found that 62% of respondents use car share to save money. Across the entire region, over 3,500 car share vehicles — largely operated by car2go and Evo — are in use.

The city says research indicates two-way car share in Vancouver can reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by up to 54%, while one-way car share reductions reach a ceiling reduction of 15%.

One-way car share services account for 80% of the total car share fleet in Vancouver.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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