City pushes car free living through “Surrender Your Permit” program

HOBOKEN – Hoboken is notorious for a lack of parking. Now, to help combat that problem, the city has announced an incentive laden program to encourage residents to consider alternative modes of transportation. According to a city press release, residents who surrender a parking permit at the Hoboken Parking Utility will receive an incentive package valued at more than $500.
Since the Hertz Connect program was introduced in June, nine residents have turned in their parking permits. When the program started in June, city officials said the program will take 750 cars off the street. In September, Parking Director Ian Sacs said it was “entirely feasible to [expect] 42 to 50 permits to be given up in six months’ time.”
The city is hoping the new incentives will encourage residents to give up their cars.
“This is an important incentive to announce now that Corner Cars has been around for a while,” said Councilman David Mello, chairman of the Parking and Transportation Committee. “As people learn about the program and lease terms expire, I’m confident that through this extra incentive we will get the additional 33 permits we need to break even with the 42 parking spaces used by Corner Cars, leaving no doubt that this program represents a clear benefit to our community.”
Hertz Connect has been the cause of some controversy in Hoboken. Business owners have said the program is hurting business because it leads to a lack of parking on corners near their stores. However, according to a city press release, more than 500 residents are now members of the Corner Cars program.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the program is an “integral component of our efforts to provide residents easy and practical options for living car-free in Hoboken.”
From the city press release:
Benefits of the Surrender Your Permit program include:
Corner Cars $100 driving credit plus two years free membership from Hertz Connect: $200 value
Free Specialized commuter bike helmet (courtesy of Flo On Wheels, 1222 Washington St): $50 value
Fleet Feet eco-friendly shopping bag, free pair of technical running socks, free Timex pedometer to track distance walked/run, steps taken, calories burned, and a $20 coupon for a pair of shoes (courtesy of Fleet Feet Sports, 604 Washington St): $50 value
Free 6-month Unlimited Hop shuttle pass: $180 value
Premium membership discounts provided by Enterprise and Hertz rental car agencies
Free bike commuter training session, riding safety lights, and reflective straps (courtesy of Hudson County TMA)
Free Temporary parking permit placard with special endorsement stamp (allows parking on resident side) for rental vehicles
Free SmartLink card wallet and other PATH gifts (courtesy of Port Authority of NY and NJ)
“The Hop” community shuttle bus map and schedules
Hoboken bike lane and bike rack locations map
Hertz will also sweeten the deal by giving $140 credit to the first 40 who participate in the Surrender Your Permit program and will give $100 driving credit to any resident who registers for Corner Cars during the month of October (use code “hoboken”). – Ray Smith

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