Hoboken cars: Thinking outside the box
Here is some out of the box thinking for you!
Hoboken411, since the idea was born back in 2005, has always offered an alternative (and logical, factual) opinion to the De facto (and often misguided) perception that exists in town these days – for practically anything out there.
Case in point is the Hertz on Demand (formerly Connect by Hertz) “Corner Cars” in Hoboken.
In no way am I wholly opposed to the concept – not at all. In fact, I refer to it as “rental cars 2.0,” because it (as well as Zip Cars) truly is an easier way to obtain temporary usage of a vehicle, without the long-time, outdated method of renting a car the traditional way.
Residents (mostly non-car owning) may now be more apt to use the cars for errands they’d otherwise wait to complete (either via friends, or other methods). It certainly has potential – and may quite be the future of car rentals, but not without hiccups along the way.
Why only Hertz; and is this a pipe dream?
However, a few things I strongly feel the need to point out first:
- I’m concerned with the city “relationship” with Hertz. If Hoboken wants to promote less vehicular “ownership,” and more car “sharing,” then why is it that City Officials ONLY promote Hertz? When the original “hourly rent-a-car” service – ZipCar – has been here FOR YEARS? In fact, they have the same amount of cars that Hertz does, and essentially the same exact service!
In the spirit of “transparency,” why doesn’t the city also promote ZipCar, to give residents a choice to pick whomever they want to use (i.e., capitalism)? Is there a hidden reason why? Alternatively, if the city wishes that Zip Car abandon the Mile Square, they ought to be up-front about it – and explicitly communicate that fact. Because they’re saying nothing, or better yet – not giving Zip Car equal, if not MORE “face time,” leads one to believe something fishy is going on. Some residents I’ve spoken with actually theorize that certain Hoboken officials are getting “paid” on the side for this – or receive free or heavily discounted usage of the Connect Cars.
- Wishful thinking. Since the Zip Car has been in Hoboken for over 5 years, parking and traffic has only gotten worse. How is it, that a practically identical hourly car rental service (Hertz) can come into Hoboken, and all of a sudden “Over 750 cars will be eliminated” from Hoboken streets? If Zip cars didn’t solve the parking debacle here – what makes anyone think Hertz will make a difference? Because they’re parked closer? That’s the only difference between Hertz and Zip – is the street parking…. Most Zip Cars are also within 5 minutes of any Hoboken resident. So what gives? Does the city feel the need to practically “kiss the ass” of the Hertz Car to compensate for the 50 less parking spots for angry Hoboken residents? That’s one safe bet at least.
If you cannot beat them, join them?
OK, for those that think I cannot think outside the box – here’s a REALLY revolutionary idea:
If you truly want Hertz on Demand (formerly Connect by Hertz) Cars and Zip Cars to work, instead of just making permanent parking spots for each individual car – let’s take this a step further. And I guarantee you TONS more people will sign up for the service.
Reserved Parking in MULTIPLE spots.
In addition to the “home” spot for the Hertz Cars – also create TWO additional spots for these hourly buggies at various places throughout Hoboken. My initial idea was perhaps two or three exclusive spots per block along Washington St. (say 30 to 45 spaces – reserved just for “Hertz and Zip” cars). And 50 other “short term” reserved spots at logical areas throughout the city. This way, folks that like to shop, run their errands, visit mistresses – can ALWAYS find a spot along the main avenue or any other street in town. This is good for the environment (if you still believe that colossal scam), and it can reduce traffic backups.
Because of the now added stress from “regular” car owners in finding a spot (God, is it that much of a sin to own a personal vehicle?) – it could persuade a few more people to give them up. Just throwin’ it out there!
If the city is going to embrace, make love, and over-promote these cars – then why not just pull out all the stops? Make it such a “dream” to participate in this
racket program – that drivers will have little resistance left.
Would that help the program? Suffer from too much backlash? Get the current administration voted out of office?