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New Jersey town decides to pay Uber instead of building a parking lot

Marco Rubio Speech On Innovation At Uber's DC Offices

Pilot program is meant to test out ride-hailing as a solution to last mile challenge

by Andrew J . Hawkins Oct 3, 2016, 10:56a

Lately, Uber has been positioning itself as the ultimate solution to the eternal challenge of shuttling people between transit hubs and their homes, also known as the “last mile challenge.” To that end, the ride-hail giant announced today that it struck a deal with the suburban town of Summit, New Jersey, to launch the state’s first subsidized commuter program.

Under the deal, Uber will offer free or extremely cheap rides to commuters who have struggled to find parking at Summit’s New Jersey Transit station. In exchange, the city, which is 30 miles from Manhattan, will subsidize the rides, paying Uber directly to cover the costs of the trips. The city says the deal will help free up nearly 100 parking spots at the transit station, as well as keep it from having to spend millions of dollars to build additional parking.

“As an alternative transportation option, ridesharing is not new,” said Summit Mayor Nora Radest in a statement. “But our program is the first of its kind in the United States to use ridesharing technology as a parking solution. Our innovation has the potential to shape how municipalities think about and implement parking options in the future.”