Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Cities Consider Free Parking for Hybrids

March 17, 2005

From California to Sweden, governments are considering offering parking-based incentives for hybrid users, according to a report on Forbes.com. Cities big and small such as Hermosa Beach, Calif., Albuquerque and Los Angeles are at various stages of implementing free metered parking for hybrids. Yet very little data is available showing whether parking incentives have significantly impacted municipal budgets. The report asks if enough hybrid drivers use San Jose’s free parking incentive, will the city find itself needing to trim programs?Roche Pharmaceutical in New Jersey created a fleet of hybrid vehicles--a move that's reduced fuel and parking costs and increased goodwill and status as a more "green" company, the Forbes report said. Progressive firms such as Timberland and Hyperion have offered cash bonuses to employees who purchase hybrids. Less daring companies could offer preferred parking in company lots or parking coupons for employees who commute in their hybrids.The University of Miami is ready to reward students for driving hybrids, according to a report in the Sun-Sentinel. Starting in August, some hybrid-driving students, professors and staff can shave off 50 percent of their parking permit price, which can run up to $352 per year.Florida lets some hybrid drivers ride alone in carpool lanes. But parking privileges are uncommon, if not entirely untried. Emory University in Atlanta provides special spaces in one campus garage.Berkeley, Calif. city planners are working on a proposal to allow those who buy hybrid cars in Berkeley up to one-hour blocks of free parking anywhere in the city for one or two years, according to a story in the Alameda-Times Star. Some support the idea with the condition that free parking go only to those who buy hybrids in Berkeley so the tax revenue would offset lost meter income.
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