• New residents in Parkmerced receive monthly $100 credits, $30 of which must be used on Uber.
  • Uber is capping the cost of uberPOOL rides at $5 to the nearest public transit station.
  • The hope is that residents will utilize alternative means of transportation in lieu of owning a personal automobile.

Parking your car in the city is the pits, if you can even find a spot. But at Parkmerced, a new development in San Francisco, a new amenity for residents fights the lack of parking. Thanks to a partnership with Uber, participating residents of the Maximus Real Estate Partners (MREP) property will be awarded transportation stipends to entice carpooling and forgoing car ownership.

“The Parkmerced development is going from 3,300 to 9,000 rentals, and from a car-centric development to one focused on sustainable, whole living,” Parkmerced Labs Manager Dan Saccardi said. “As part of this process, we saw an opportunity to form Parkmerced Labs, a joint venture between Maximus Real Estate Partners and Broadscale Group, and bring together innovative leaders, like Uber, in a singular environment.”

Founder of MREP Rob Rosania thinks the concept is revolutionary and plans to adapt it to other communities.

“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,” he said in a press release.

Parkmerced is already serviced by the San Francisco Municipal Railway 57 route.

Incentives for Parkmerced

Participating residents in Parkmerced will receive $100 every month to be used for transportation. One disclaimer is that $30 of $100 is required to be used exclusively for Uber rides. The remaining balance can be applied to the regional transit Clipper Card.

Uber also is ensuring that the price of UberPOOL — the carpool service within the car service — will not exceed $5 between Parkmerced and local public transportation stops.

People interested in moving to Parkmerced are offered a $20 credit both ways to come view properties.

How it could be a bad thing

One of the problems with Uber, although it generates exponential revenue, is the multiply factor of the rate when Uber is in high demand in a certain area. As more users call for the car service, the price begins to climb. It essentially becomes a bidding war of who’s willing to pay what premium.

If Parkmerced succeeds with getting more people to use it, they are increasing the possibility that the $100 stipend will be used before month’s end.

How it can be a good thing

The program is designed for residents of the neighborhood to git rid of cars. This frees up parking on the streets, reduces traffic in the neighborhood and can probably cut down on noise polluction.

UberPOOL seems like it’s the best bang for $5. This concept, which can also be packaged as “bringing the community together,” allows for significant money saving in terms of the required Uber portion of the stipend.

“The partnership with Uber was a natural fit, because Parkmerced residents want options that Uber is well suited to provide,” Saccardi said. “Public transportation, via the Clipper card, is a fundamental component of this program. While [we] did not directly engage SFMTA in the formation of this partnership, we are deepening the conversation with SFMTA.”

Email Britt Chester

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