Vancouver to allow car share drivers to park in metered spaces for free

Jul 19 2019, 3:06 am

Car share policies for parking on metered curbside street spaces are set to see an overhaul following a Vancouver city council decision earlier this week.

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Councillors approved a number of staff recommendations intended to improve the convenience and usability of car share services within the city, specifically in commercial areas.

One-way car share vehicles would be allowed to end their trips in metered parking spaces, and permitted to have free stopovers at such metered spaces for up to a maximum of two hours when they are actively rented.

Additionally, a limited number of car share permits per company will see waived parking fees for the use of zero-emission vehicles, as a measure to encourage car share operators to adopt these green vehicles for their fleets.

Flat rates would also be charged for some reserved parking spaces in paid metered areas for zero-emission car share vehicles, given that current costs between $3,000 and $15,000 per year are cost-prohibitive for the companies.

Any new costs as a result of the changes that allow car share drivers to park in metered spaces will come directly from the companies, not from the drivers.

The municipal government anticipates the impact to its revenues from some of the new incentives will be neutral or at least relatively minimal.

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.

During the same meeting, councillors also terminated 260 free off-street parking spaces in the South Hill retail area on Fraser Street, between East 43rd Avenue and East 49th Avenue. For decades, local businesses have been paying for the free customer parking on city-owned property, but now customers will cover the costs through new pay parking stations.

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