Tackling the Parking Problem

At one time downtown Austin was home to myriad, sprawling surface parking lots. But those days are fast disappearing, as our quickly-growing downtown’s land use needs shift.

While using land for dense development rather tcaritashan car storage is a good trend for the long-term health of our city, it has some major impacts on downtown organizations. One of those is Caritas of Austin, which could soon lose the parking lot that most of its employees use at 7th  and Trinity Streets.

In order to prepare for that future, Movability helped Caritas with a two-month pilot that has just wrapped up. During July and August, 11 Caritas employees opted to give up their parking passes and instead take cash, a discounted transit pass, or a combination of cash and the pass.

Movability sat down with Caritas employees both as a group and in individual meetings to talk about different options for getting to work, and getting around during the day – including car2go, Zipcar, and B-Cycle. Pilot participants had access to car2go and Zipcar accounts during the pilot, as well. We helped each participant determine the best mobility options for them, based on where they were commuting from and what their schedules looked like.

The results were a lot of creativity! One employee drove into work early in the morning to get a parking spot under I-35 and workout before starting her workday. Others took the bus or train. And some rode their bikes, or combined bike riding with transit. Caritas Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer both tried out different bus routes to get to work.

Caritas also provided a vehicle to use for daytime trips, which helped employees who needed to transport clients during the day. And pilot participants found that carpooling with coworkers to daytime meetings was a convenient option.

Employees who participated found that they got some time back for themselves by not driving; saved money; got in more exercise; and had more energy during the workday from having a more active commute.

Way to go Caritas of Austin!

Want help setting up a pilot for your company or organization to help employees try out mobility options? Contact Alix Scarborough to learn more.

One Response to Tackling the Parking Problem

  1. Jolinda Marshall says:

    I’ve found some of the same ideas to work. Car2Go is very handy for day emergencies or errands but the City used to have assigned spots for them and it was great. There was no enforcement of those spaces so they were given up and now it is very difficult to park a Car2Go when ending a trip – help City!