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Says State Must Support Programs like Hoboken’s to Save Money

(33rd LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT) — Assemblyman Ruben J. Ramos, Jr. on Wednesday announced he will introduce legislation to boost Hoboken’s car-sharing program and other similar efforts by exempting car-sharing organizations from the $5 state surcharge on vehicle rentals.

“This is a new and innovative program that can bring savings to taxpayers and especially improve the quality of life for urban residents by reducing congestion, eliminating parking hassles and cutting pollution,” Ramos said. “Anything we can do to entice people to use this service is a plus. This bill is a step in that direction.”

Ramos (D-Hudson) said he’s been working on the bill in partnership with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer.

“With this bill, we’re making clear that we support this program and want to see it succeed, not just in Hoboken, but in communities throughout our state,” Ramos said.

Car-sharing organizations run a membership program — intended to offer an alternative to car ownership — under which persons or entities that become members are permitted to use vehicles from a fleet on an hourly basis.

Hoboken’s car sharing program, a public-private partnership through which car-sharing vehicles are distributed citywide at reserved on-street locations, started in June and has more than 400 members.

City officials expect the program will result in removing 750 cars from the streets.

“Car-sharing also represents a more affordable alternative for low-income residents who need the mobility of a personal vehicle but lack the ability to own one, and I thank Assemblyman Ramos for working to make these programs even more affordable,” Zimmer said.

This bill, scheduled to be introduced on Thursday, would exempt car-sharing organizations from the $5 surcharge on motor vehicle rentals charged pursuant to a 2002 law.