SFMTA to Designate Hundreds of Curbside Parking Spots for Car-Sharing

Hundreds of on-street parking spaces across the city will be reserved for car-share vehicles starting in September as the SF Municipal Transportation Agency looks to provide more convenient alternatives to owning a car.

Image: ##http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/san_francisco&id=8377476##ABC 7##

Following a nearly two-year pilot designating 12 curbside spaces for the non-profit City CarShare, the SFMTA is planning a major expansion [PDF] in the next two years. In the first year, up to 150 spaces would be set aside for each car-share organization. An additional 150 would be available to each organization in the second year.

Until now, car-share organizations have generally only been able to procure reserved spaces in off-street parking lots and garages at sites like gas stations, many of which are giving way to redevelopment. Citing studies that found each car-share vehicle typically leads to 10 to 15 private cars being sold, SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin said that opening up a fraction of the city’s 281,000 on-street spots for car-share will make it easier for car-share organizations to place vehicles closer to a broader range of residents.

“It opens up a lot more of the city to car-sharing,” said Reiskin. “Generally, on-street parking will always be here.”

The parking spaces will be available for traditional car-share services like Zipcar and City CarShare, as well as peer-to-peer services like RelayRides, Getaround, and Wheelz. However, one-way car-share services like Car2Go, which operates in other American cities and allows drivers to leave the car in any legal parking space (they’re tracked by GPS), won’t be eligible. Reiskin said the SFMTA has yet to see sufficient evidence that such services reduce car ownership and driving, and that accommodating them would require issuing a new special permit that exempts Car2Go’s vehicles from parking restrictions.

“We have some concerns that it could actually work in the other direction — that one-way [car-sharing] could actually encourage more driving,” said Reiskin. “We’re eager to get more information.”

Reiskin said the agency will be collecting extensive usage data from car-share providers who participate in the on-street program. Organizations would be required to provide a certain proportion of their cars in outer neighborhoods, and cars would have to be rentable at least 75 percent of the time to ensure that peer-to-peer vehicles aren’t being abused as private parking spaces by car owners. The SFMTA would also require organizations to do a certain amount of outreach to attract new users.

City CarShare CEO Rick Hutchinson said that in outer neighborhoods like Bayview, attracting new car-share members can take years. “It is a less dense area, there is more car ownership in the Bayview than anywhere else in the city, and parking is not an issue — these are all things that create lower demand” for car-share, he said. “You need a long-term outlook.”

SFMTA board member Cheryl Brinkman said she only wants to see expansion of the on-street car-share program “move faster.”

As Reiskin noted, car-share can reduce transportation costs for residents, “because you’re not paying for an asset that sits empty 22 or 23 hours out of the day.”

Read more on the on-street car-share expansion at the SF Examiner and SFBay.

  • mikesonn

    Put them all on Polk.

  • My laugh for the day. A stand up comic could do a whole routine about Polk Street.

  • Gilla

    Brilliant! (As an aside, my husband and I love City Car Share and have been with them about ten years, ever since our car was stolen. We’ve never replaced it.)

  • Cali Wilson

    Car sharing can reduce pollution as well as traffic from the roads. It is economical too.

    Thorncrest Ford

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Street Parking in SF: Fees for Car-Share, Free for Car Owners

|
With hundreds of on-street parking spaces around San Francisco set to become available for car-share vehicles, the SFMTA plans to charge companies monthly fees for the conversion of curbside spots that are normally free. So while companies like City Car-Share, Zipcar, and Getaround  — which offer services that make it easier for residents to go […]

SFMTA Plans Major Expansion of On-Street Car-Share Parking Spaces

|
Curbside parking spaces reserved for car-share vehicles could become much more widespread in San Francisco under a proposed expansion of the Municipal Transportation Agency’s on-street car-share pilot program early next year. Last August, the SFMTA implemented 12 on-street pilot spaces with the non-profit organization City CarShare. Now the agency is planning an expansion of more than 100 spaces, which […]

SFMTA to Test On-Street Car-Share Parking Spaces

|
Car share members in San Francisco could soon be picking up their vehicles from exclusive curbside parking spaces. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is launching a pilot program in mid-August to test at least ten on-street car share “pods” as part of its SFPark program. “On-street car sharing pods (i.e., locations where users […]

Parking Shared Cars Instead of Private Cars Isn’t Exactly “Privatization”

|
The SFMTA’s endeavor to reserve on-street car parking spaces for car-share vehicles has yielded complaints from some car owners who, ironically, decry the “privatization” of space currently used to store private cars. These folks don’t seem to acknowledge the extensive research showing that each car-share vehicle replaces, on average, nine to 13 privately-owned cars. They should […]