caliThe hoary old expression “crony capitalism” comes into heavy play on a white hot Reddit thread concerning Dan’s Hamburger’s City of Austin/Car2Go boondoggle at Dan’s Hamburgers Manchaca Road project.

Lots of good juicy verbiage between Redditors over possible kickbacks between Car2Go and the city over dedicated Car2Go spots in Dan’s parking lot.

Apparently the City incentivizes business owners to add dedicated Car2Go spots in their parking lot by reducing the business’s normal parking space requirements. Add a Car2Go spot and voila, the city acts as though you just added 20 parking slots.

What does the City of Austin get in return? Lots of conjecture, but we do know the city’s employees had exclusive access to the Car2Go service between November 2009 and May 2010 when the public was finally allowed to use the cars.

It’s pretty clear that there’s plenty love between Car2Go and the City. Lee Leffingwell has been spotted on Judges Hill from time time carving giant hearts with the company’s logo into old oak trees. Or so we hear from local wags.

Plus, the city gave up $85k in violation-free public parking to the company way back in 2009. One imagines that number has grown substantially in the last five years.

What a difference between that and Car2Go’s deal with Washington DC where the company shelled out $578k for violation free parking.

Tumble down the Reddit rabbit hole right this way http://www.reddit.com/r/Austin/comments/1zjhvs/never_ag

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