Vancouver car-share drivers could soon be allowed to drop cars in metered spaces

Vancouver car-share drivers could soon be allowed to drop a car at a metered spot, with no cost to them. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

Vancouver car-share users could soon be allowed to drop their vehicles at metered parking spots at the end of a trip, with no cost to them.

That’s one of the recommendations going to Vancouver city council on Tuesday in a staff report on changing how the city handles parking for the services.

According to the report, more than one in three Vancouver adults have a membership to a car-share program such as Car2Go/Share Now, Evo or Modo.

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The report argues that car-share services help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city, and is pitching a series of incentives meant to increase their use — particularly as it relates to zero-emission vehicles.

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It argues the changes could help the city meet its climate change targets through the six “big moves” council approved in principle back in April to address its declaration of a climate emergency.

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The recommendation most likely to catch drivers’ eyes would see them allowed to leave a car-share vehicle at a metered parking spot when they’re done with it.

Under the proposal, the cost of that parking would be billed to the car-share company. The report recommends that those parking fees be cut in half for zero-emission car-share vehicles.

According to the report, the policy change could net the city between $150,000 and $200,000 per year in added revenue.

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The report also recommends car-share drivers who are taking a multi-stop trip be allowed up to two hours of free parking at a meter as they go about their trip.

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In a bid to push car-share companies to shift their fleet to zero-emission vehicles, the report also proposes waiving annual parking permit fees for them.

Those permits cost car-share companies $77.19 per year. The report says that to offset the financial cost it would limit the new permits to 50 per company per year, which would cost the city a maximum of $84,000 annually.

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The report further recommends charging a flat fee for car-share companies that want to reserve permanent parking spots for their vehicles at curb spaces that would normally be metered.

Under current city policy, companies must pay 66 per cent of the total potential revenue a meter could earn in a year, per space. The report says that policy has prevented companies from picking up spots in expensive parts of town, and proposes a maximum flat fee of $3,000 per space, with a limit of 50 such spaces to be added.

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In an emailed statement, BCAA vice president of car sharing Tai Silvey said Evo supports the city’s proposal to allow parking at meters.

“We look forward to working with them on a potential agreement if this passes,” he said.

“Vancouver’s a pioneer of car sharing and this is another great way to make car sharing more accessible and to help ensure Vancourites have environmentally sustainable options to get around town.”

The City of Vancouver has set a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

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