While the increase in ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft solve many transportation issues affecting Asbury Park, such as lack of parking and drunk driving, they also create problems when drivers are picking up and dropping off customers in congested areas.
Recently the city installed signs in the middle of Cookman Avenue prohibiting stopping and unloading passengers.
Several Uber and Lyft drivers have complained about getting tickets by police or having police ask them to move when they are waiting outside bars for potential riders.
Danny McKee, who drives for Uber, says he was ticketed three times by police and met with Mayor John Moor and Director of Transportation Michael Manzella to discuss solutions for both drivers and riders.
McKee spoke in favor of ride sharing and taxis saying they would more than make up for the lost parking revenue if the city designated parking spots for pick up and drop off.
He vowed to help city officials seek solutions.
“There are so many benefits to Uber and taxis. There is less traffic and less DUIs. I don’t know of any detractors,” he said.
McKee suggested using two parking spaces at the west end of each block and two on the other side of the street at the east side for dropping off and picking up passengers.
“They pull in and pull right out again,” he said. “And they may have to walk a half a block.”
McKee also said making the ride sharing more convenient will have the added benefit of bringing more patrons to city establishments.
“They will spend more money because they will not be worried about driving home,” he said. “You’ve got to have pick up and drop off points.”
Manzella said, “It (the signage) has been up for a few months. We are just trying to prevent loading/unloading in the middle of a travel lane. We strongly encourage visitors to take Uber and Lyft to Asbury Park.”
Manzella also said the valet program is tentatively starting on July 11 with two valet stands, which will be located off Cookman Avenue.