Morris County News

Driving Down Parking Demand, City of Summit Partners with Uber on Commuter Ridesharing Initiative

039f82f531d4170a3c20_c7d1f15498e492f7ca3c_6c5f5051fd740e3ad35b_4a5d4c23af4abaadbba7_DSC_0567.JPG
Summit's Jonathan Kurowski arrives at the train station in October, 2016, as the first participant in the City of Summit / Uber ridesharing program. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit File Photo
f00d72dbca461181ea0f_DSC_0580.JPG
Summit Mayor Nora Radest addresses the assembled media in a press event held outside the train station. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
2dcbc27898739a3cf34a_DSC_0585.JPG
The innovative elements of the program attached a significant number of media to the Hilltop City. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
039f82f531d4170a3c20_c7d1f15498e492f7ca3c_6c5f5051fd740e3ad35b_4a5d4c23af4abaadbba7_DSC_0567.JPG

SUMMIT, NJ - Beginning in the mid 1950s, a certain bus company urged Americans to "Leave the Driving to Us."

Flash forward sixty years, and that concept -- implemented in a 21st Century way -- may prove to achieve a dual purpose - giving Summit commuters a stress free, economical alternative to their daily trek to mass transit, and also serving to alleviate the Hilltop City parking squeeze that had City leaders thinking about constructing a new parking structure.

The City of Summit has partnered with San Francisco-based Uber to launch New Jersey’s first ridesharing commuter program, with Summit residents who have purchased prepaid parking permits eligible for free Uber rides to and from the station during weekday commuting hours; and residents -- without prepaid permits -- eligible for $2 Uber rides, which is equivalent to the cost of the City’s $4 daily parking.  

Sign Up for E-News

The six-month pilot program is limited to the first 100 registrants, with the City estimating that an equal amount of parking spaces will be made available through this program. According to the City, more than 50 residents have already signed up.

As a result, the City claims it does now not have an immediate need to build a new parking lot on public ground and will save an estimated $5 million in taxpayer dollars over the next 20 years. Thousands of Summit residents currently use Uber. More than 40% of pickups in the town end at the train station, and 30% of pickups in evening end in Summit.

“As an alternative transportation option, ridesharing is not new,” explains Summit Mayor Nora Radest. “But our program is the first of its kind in the United States to use ridesharing technology as a parking solution. Our innovation has the potential to shape how municipalities think about and implement parking options in the future.”

Summit resident Jonathan Kurowski, who works in the banking industry, took the first ride of the new program, arriving at the Summit train station shortly after 8:15 a.m. Kurowski said his day began in typical fashion as he was "woken up by my screaming toddlers" but he deviated from his normal commuting routine by calling for an Uber car, with the driver arriving "two minutes later."

Kurowski described his experience as ''super easy," and noted that it may render obsolete his need for a second family car -- he uses his vehicle mainly to drive to and from the Summit train station. Kurowski also said that getting a ride to the station was stress free -- he didn't have to deal with traffic and weather won't be an issue -- and the program takes a car off the road which is environmentally-friendly.

“This new pilot program offers an excellent approach to reducing the daily demand for parking in Summit,” reports Common Council President Mike McTernan. “By partnering with Uber, we will be freeing up about 100 spaces that can be used by other residents or employees during the day. The program has the potential to be a win-win for our local businesses, commuters and our taxpayers.”

“This pioneering program will make it easier for Summit commuters to get to NJ Transit and save the City taxpayers’ money at the same time,” said Ana Mahony, Uber New Jersey General Manager. “When local commuters ran out of parking space, the city’s leaders wanted to come up with a new way to both solve the problem and bring Summit into the future. Uber is always eager to work with local communities and help bring positive change and innovation to New Jersey.”

The initial pilot program could be expanded if successful, and all trips must begin or end within Summit or at the train station and be completed Monday through Friday between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

To register for the program or to obtain further information, visit cityofsummit.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Madison

F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Students Sing, Dance and Laugh to the Music of Lovey Williams

April 16, 2018

Lovey Williams created joyful noise and music with the students of the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA to kick off the Week of the Young Child that runs through Friday April 20. Students engaged in music by singing, dancing and playing instruments to their favorite songs at their annual Lovey Williams Concert. The Week of the Young Child celebrates early learning, ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!

 

Letter to the Editor: Don't Complain. Vote!

April 14, 2018

Don’t Complain; Vote!

It’s no secret that people have strong feelings about what’s happening in our country. It’s also true that much of politics is local. In November, 11th District residents will have the opportunity to choose a new congressional representative who will not only serve as a critical check on the federal level, but also determine how our distract fares ...