Measure Stems from Hoboken Program
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Ruben J. Ramos Jr., Ralph R. Caputo and Gordon Johnson sponsored to promote car-sharing initiatives by exempting nonprofit car-sharing organizations from the $5 surcharge on motor vehicle rentals was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
“This is an innovative program that can bring savings to taxpayers and dramatically improve the quality of life for urban residents by reducing congestion, eliminating parking hassles and cutting pollution,” said Ramos (D-Hudson). “Anything we can do to entice people to use services like this is a plus.”
A car-sharing organization offers members an alternative to car ownership by allowing members to schedule time to utilize vehicles from a fleet on an hourly basis.
The Hoboken car sharing program – Corner Cars – is a public-private partnership though which car-sharing vehicles are distributed citywide at reserved on-street locations. Started in June, 2010, the program has over 1,000 members. City officials estimate that the program will result in removing 750 cars from Hoboken streets.
Under the legislation (A-701) non-profit car-sharing organizations would be completely exempt from the $5 surcharge on New Jersey motor vehicle rentals put in place in 2002. For profit companies would be allowed to offer a pro-rated surcharge of $0.25 an hour for vehicles scheduled for less than 24 hours of use by an individual.
“With this legislation, we’re making it clear that we support this concept and want to see it succeed, not just in Hoboken, but in urban communities across the state,” said Caputo (D-Essex). “Car-sharing programs benefit everyone, especially low-income residents who might need the mobility a car provides but who do not have the means to purchase one outright.”
“Tackling congestion in our urban areas through innovative programs that make life easier for working class families is always a good thing,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “This is a smart approach and one we should be promoting throughout the state.”
The bill was released by the Assembly transportation committee.