Idea to have Elk Grove taxpayers subsidize ride sharing to Old Town, District 56 nixed

City Councilmember Darren Suen expressed rental hope scooters could be introduced in
Elk Grove to address the city's quickly growing traffic congestion. | 




One problem that has vexed the City of Elk Grove since incorporation 21 years ago is what to do with the city's Old Town special planning area, and more specifically, its parking problem. In the last couple of years, the Old Town conundrum combined with rapidly growing traffic congestion, especially near the city's new activity District56, have prompted exploration of methods to resolve these problems. 

One such idea floated by Elk Grove District 1 City Councilmember Darren Suen was nixed at the Wednesday night City Council meeting. At the request of Suen, city staff investigated the possibility of taxpayer-subsidized ride shares.

Suen, along with District 2 City Councilmember Pat Hume, has been immersed in a variety of transportation issues over the last several years. The examination, which focused on ride-sharing, was meant to discover ways to relieve the near-constant congestion along Elk Grove Boulevard near District56 and bring more patrons into the long-moribund Old Town district where parking has long been a detriment to the area.

According to the staff report presented by Mike Costa, the city's community partnerships and government relations manager, after a thorough investigation and interactions with Uber and Lyft, it was determined taxpayer subsidies were not feasible. Additionally, Costa said there is some information that ridesharing can be detrimental. 

"Some research suggests that TNCs like Uber and Lyft can have the potential to increase traffic volume because of the nature of their nature when they deadhead their service," Costa told the city council.

Costa added there are no grants from other agencies at this time, and the only source would be the city's general fund.

During deliberation, Suen said, "I accept the data," showing it was not practical. Nonetheless, Suen expressed his desire to introduce other modes of transportation. 

"I'm still hopeful we'll get a bike share, scooter share someday," he said.

 
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