• Hoboken Launches New Parking Initiatives {+ Free HOP Bus for Residents}

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    Find a parking spot in Hoboken can be…difficult, to say the least. Parking in the Mile Square City has always been a point of contention for residents and visitors alike. Now, the City is finally trying to introduce a plan to do something about it. 

    hoboken-snow-parking

    Read More: Our Q+A with Parking Director Ryan Sharp

    “Two major priorities in Hoboken are parking,” Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla told hMag, “and, one that has been especially acute in the last five to ten years, is small businesses — maintaining a vibrant small business economy. As Mayor, I’d like to see what we could do to address both of those issues because, to some extent, I do think they are interrelated.”

    The argument Bhalla is making is that Hoboken’s unique parking situation is taking a toll on local businesses. And it’s true. If there’s nowhere for visitors to park, there’s a higher likelihood that those visitors would choose not to shop there. If you can’t park, you can’t get out and look around.

    And let’s not forget that with wintry or rainy conditions, the parking situation in our little city only gets exacerbated.

    Hence the introduction of Hoboken’s new parking initiatives. As of March 4th, the new parking initiatives are launched with the intent of improving the overall parking experience in Hoboken, specifically attempting to improve on-street parking availability in the Mile Square’s business districts {even though we must add that many spots were recently taken away by “Loading Zones” downtown}.

    Keep reading to find out everything Hobokenites need to know about the City’s newest parking initiatives:

    Virtual Visitor Permit System

    Part of this new initiative is the “virtual” visitor permit system. Visitors can purchase and activate visitor parking passes online. Another part of the parking initiative is the reintroduction of the “Daily Debit Program,” which aims to provide cheap, daily garage parking for business employees. If business employees can park in garages for inexpensive prices, then there’s more parking available to visitors, shoppers, and residents.

    According to the City website, the Daily Debit Program will provide $5 parking per day for Hoboken business employees in Garage B {on 28 2nd Street}, Garage D {215 Hudson Street}, and Midtown Garage {at 371 4th Street}, and Lot 3 {1301 Jefferson Street}. The program is now accepting customers, but the program is first-come, first-serve and there is a capacity limit.

    People with resident parking permits do not need to pay to park on the visitor sides of permit parking zones {marked with a white sign and green lettering}. The fee for this permit is unchanged. The fee is still $15 per year for a residential parking permit.

    For more information, please contact the Hoboken Parking Utility at 201-653-1919 or visit www.hobokennj.gov/parking-center.

    Dynamic Pricing

    Parking pricing imbalances have also been an issue in Hoboken. The new goal with the dynamic pricing initiative is to have one-to-two parking spaces available on each block within the designated business districts. The hope is that new on-street parking rates will accomplish that. Now, parking rates will be changed to between $.050 and $0.90 for every 15 minutes.

    These rates are specifically modeled after the rates in Atlantic City, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., among other cities.

    hoboken-parking-meter-apps-new

    You can access the updated map of dynamic pricing zones here.

    Marketplace pricing is also meant to decrease short-term pricing in Garage B, D, and Midtown. The City will reinvest revenue into New Jersey’s first Parking Benefit District in order to fund economic development, streetscape, and infrastructure projects, according to the City website.

    “The idea is to create a 15 percent availability of parking per block — one or two spaces per block at any given time is, aspirationally, what the objective is for people who want to park and utilize small businesses,” Bhalla said of the Parking Benefit District. “The problem right now is that there is an imbalance between the pricing structure on-street and the pricing structure off-street. Because the pricing structure is so low on street, people who are not necessarily parking to shop are parking on-street for the better part of the day, which lowers the opportunity for customers to utilize the businesses.”

    By decreasing the rates of parking garages, the hope is that more short-term visitors who drive a car to Hoboken will park in garages rather than in parking spots or on the street.

    Free Hop Bus

    Perhaps the most buzzed-about aspect of the parking initiatives is the Hop Bus. The City announced that transportation via the Hop Bus will now be free of charge for all, starting March 4th.

    free hop hoboken bus

    {Photo credit: Twitter}

    The reasoning behind making the Hop Bus free is to encourage residents to use public transportation rather than drive cars throughout town and use up parking spaces. By this logic, there will be more available parking for drivers who need it. The City will also be getting a fleet of new Hop buses.

    The Hop Bus schedule can be accessed by using the Smarttraxx app, Mayor Bhalla announced on Twitter.

    Additional parts of the initiative include a mobile parking app, streetscape enhancements on Washington Street, infrastructure projects, and other methods of parking system upgrades {parking guidance systems, etc}.

    The City has committed to reinvesting nearly $250,000 to parking revenues in 2019. Over a five year span, the goal is to invest anywhere from $1 million to $2 million.

    How do you feel about the recent Hoboken parking initiatives? Let us know in the comments.

    Have you joined our Facebook group yet? Request here to gain access to even more local tips, and connect with fellow Hudson County residents.


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance blogger and brand consultant who specializes in health and wellness content. Her words have appeared on Life & Style, In Touch, Seventeen, Parents, and more. She is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


    2 comments

    • I am a resident in the Hudson Tea Building. The recent increase in the monthly parking fee at the bloomfield garage is absurd. A jump from 265 to 295 a month is simply unfair. Unfortunately, I use my car everyday for my commute. I have no choice but to pay this outrageous sum because street parking is near impossible when I return from work and on the weekends. I am aware of the monthly fees at all of the surrounding garages however, I think it is only fair that residents are rewarded a discount again. If that is not possible an initiative for reduced monthly garage permits is a must.

      Reply
    • The parking unit website isn’t even updated for new parking meter terms. Would be great if they made information available to everyone.

      Reply

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