New Car Share Service Demands Parking Privileges

With the possible entry of a fourth car sharing service into San Francisco, Daimler's Car2Go, the MTA must consider exemptions from the city's strict parking policies, specifically on-street parking in residential parking districts and metered zones.
September 17, 2012, 10am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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San Francisco is well-served by car sharing services:

All three services require the customer to return the car to designated spaces that the car share company has provided. Car2Go would allow the customer to leave the vehicle on any city street.

San Francisco Chronicle transportation reporter, Michael Cabanatuan, explains what is needed for Car2Go to serve the SF market.

"Car2Go...allows its members to find the nearest car on a computer or smartphone app, walk up to it, open it with a smart card and drive it away. Drivers can park the cars, without feeding a meter, at any legal on-street parking spot.

"For Car2Go to work in San Francisco, the city would have to change its parking policies to let car-sharing drivers use on-street parking, something the Municipal Transportation Agency has been reluctant to allow, except in a few small experiments, including in front of City Hall. Parking policies would have to be changed to allow Car2Go users to ignore parking meters or residential parking restrictions."

"In all of the cities we operate," said Katie Stafford, a Car2Go spokeswoman, "we have that arrangement. It's a requirement for us to come in."

The request is under consideration by the MTA, as is a request by Supervisor Malia Cohen to provide car share to neighborhoods lacking the service.

"It's relatively easy to find a car-sharing vehicle downtown, South of Market or in the Castro, she said, but almost impossible in the city's southern neighborhoods (including the Bayview where Cohen lives)."

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Published on Friday, September 14, 2012 in San Francisco Chronicle
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