Council Throws Wet Blanket on Flexcar

City Council moved forward yesterday on what this activist testified was a “penny-wise and pound-foolish” policy to seek full cost recovery for metered parking spaces from car-sharing companies (of which we have exactly one in Portland at the moment: Flexcar).

The move will also cap the number of parking spaces in meter districts and limits the number of car-sharing companies with access to on-street parking to two.

While Council seemed to legitimately weigh the trade-offs, I think their timing was entirely off. Car-sharing is new enough that this conversation could easily wait several years. As reported on OPB, this is likely to increase hourly rates for Flexcar users by a dollar and may decrease usage of the service.

Over at OregonLive (in article that for the life of me, I can’t find in the print edition) coverage of the cost recovery is coupled with a longer article on the use of Flexcar.

Technically, Council only authorized administrative rule-making, so there may still be opportunities to moderate this with citizen input. And Council did ask to review the policy again in a year.

By the way, I was gratified that another Portland Transport reader came down to Council to testify!

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