Yesterday’s IBJ had an article about an all-electric car sharing program being promoted by Mayor Ballard.
I like the car-sharing idea a lot. However, as the article noted, the biggest expense of launching it will be what the city will have to pay ParkIndy–the private consortium that manages the city’s parking meters.
Our “deal” with the vendor, if you will recall, requires the city to pay the contractor every time we take a parking meter out of service, either permanently or temporarily. The city has already had to fork over a considerable amount to compensate the vendor for temporary blocking of curb lanes due to construction projects.
The vehicles and charging stations for the car-sharing program will take space currently occupied by parking meters. When the car-sharing program is fully implemented, the IBJ reports that the city will have paid ParkIndy 16.9 million dollars in order to use our own curb lanes.
That hurdle may doom the project.
There were two major objections to outsourcing the city’s parking infrastructure: 1) the private operator’s profit significantly reduces the amount the city could have realized had it managed its own meters; and 2) there would be unanticipated costs and problems associated with giving up control of the city’s curb lanes.
I see chickens coming home to roost.