Uber is teaming up with the owners of a massive real estate development in San Francisco to offer new tenants a monthly $100 transportation stipend if they agree to go car-free. The money can be used for public transit, taxis, and car-sharing, as long as at least $30 is put toward Uber. The money is being provided by the owners of Parkmerced, a collection of 8,900 apartments in the Outer Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco.
Uber also says it will cap Uber Pool rides between Parkmerced and public transit hubs at $5 by creating a geofence around the property. Anyone taking an Uber Pool trip from the Parkmerced to the Bay Area Rapid Transit's Daly City or Balboa Park stations, as well as the West Portal MUNI, will pay a flat $5 fare. Riders going from those stations to Parkmerced will also only pay $5.
Parkmerced, which is owned by Maximus Real Estate Partners, says its partnership with Uber, and the $100 monthly stipend, will allow it to avoid having to create more parking spaces as it continues developing its property. "The immediate benefits to residents will be to decrease or eliminate the need for private car ownership, facilitate a more efficient commute, reduce transportation costs, and minimize the need for parking," said Rob Rosania, founder of Maximus.
It's the first time that Uber has partnered with a property owner to offer transportation incentives to residents. In a blog post, Uber called it "a building block for a smarter city future and exemplifies the creative ways in which Uber can make it possible for city dwellers to live car-free and connect the transportation network." The company also cited a recent report released by the American Public Transportation Association, which recommended better connections between public transit and transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft.
"It is great to see business and public interests aligning so that city dwellers can truly take advantage of a suite of mobility services, weaning people off of personal cars, and allowing cities to rethink parking needs," said Dan Sperling, founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.