To help car-sharing take off in San Jose, the city plans to donate free parking to Zipcar for a year-and-a-half.
The proposal up for review at the City Council Tuesday would give the ride-sharing company 40 designated public parking spots for the duration of the 18-month pilot program. Zipcar would have to provide one private parking spot for every two the city offers.
Zipcar launched its fleet in San Jose last year, growing it from 12 to 30 vehicles. Its membership has more than doubled—from 349 to 874. And its geographic service area has expanded. But not enough people are using the cars.
“The proportion of time Zipcar’s vehicles are reserved by members in a 24-hour day is considered ‘soft,’” a city memo reads.
The utilization rate, an indicator of the success for care-share programs, peaked around 36 percent but ended last year at 29 percent. A healthy rate would be 45 percent, the company says. The city aims to help the company bump up that usage rate by donating free parking spots.
“During this start-up phase, the pilot program serves as a buffer to Zipcar, enabling it to reach a point where its services will be sustainable when the pilot ends,” the memo states.
Though Zipcar is the only company that met the deadline to participate in the pilot program, three others operate in San Jose and a couple others have express an interest in bringing their service to town. Hertz OnDemand has 15 cars available for short-term rental at seven locations around the city. And through Relay Rides and Getaround, people offer their personal vehicles for ride-sharing at their own set rates.
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for February 25, 2014:
• The city’s being forced to short-sell a slew of properties as part of the dissolution of its redevelopment agency. A total of 31 properties are slated for sale, including several parking lots and a downtown theater.
WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260