How BMW cracked the streets of San Francisco

By Gabe Nelson : autonews – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO — A prime downtown parking spot here costs $3.50 an hour.

Stay for 12 hours a day, and it adds up to $250 a week, or $13,000 a year.

Most car companies don’t worry much about the cost of parking, but in a garage under a San Francisco overpass, a group of BMW employees is figuring out how to factor those costs into a new business model. Three years ago, the company chose San Francisco for the U.S. debut of DriveNow, a car-sharing program that presages a future in which car companies won’t just sell cars — they’ll sell rides, one trip at a time…

Selling rides is sharing?

But the rollout in San Francisco has not gone as smoothly as BMW hoped…

In most cities where they operate, Drive-Now and archrival Daimler’sCar2Go users can pick up a car from the curb, drive across the city and park at any legal street spot. They can do this because those cities will sell DriveNow and Car2Go a “superpermit” — a master parking pass that serves as payment for parking meters and permission to ignore time limits.

San Francisco still has not granted a superpermit, after years of lobbying… (more)

It appears that BMW can only operate successfully with “superpermits” that allow their drivers to park in any neighborhood without or fear of getting a ticket. We all had that deal until 2012 when the SFMTA implemented their anti-car campaign by eliminating parking and traffic lanes.

BMW Takes Its Car-Sharing Service To The Streets Of San Francisco

Karyne Levy : BusinessInsider – excerpt

BMW’s car-sharing service, called DriveNow, is adding 80 cars to its fleet in the Bay Area, and starting this month, it will offer street parking spots in the Mission District in San Francisco.

That means that you don’t have to drop the car off in a dedicated lot, as you would with, say, Zipcar. Instead, the car will tell you when you’re in an approved drop-off zone, which is between Potrero Avenue and Folsom Street and between 16th and 26th streets.

We’re starting in certain streets in the Mission District, and on those streets, we only have to contend with street cleaning,” Dana Goldin, DriveNow’s chief marketing officer, told Business Insider. “So right now we’re avoiding meters and we’re avoiding residential permit areas.”(more)

Do we support privatization of our streets? What is the difference between sharing and renting?

BMW Brings Ride-Share Street Parking to Mission District

By Jordan Ecarma : autoworld – excerpt

BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing service has expanded in San Francisco to allow for street parking, making it convenient for customers who don’t have time to return the car to a designated station.

While the street parking option will start just in select parts of the Mission District, the expanded service should come to Bernal Heights, Haight Ashbury, Noe Valley, North Panhandle (NOPA), Alamo Square and Potrero Hill by the end of this year,

First launched in Munich in 2011, DriveNow has spread to other German cities and came to the U.S. in fall 2012, bringing a fleet of 70 plug-ins to the Bay Area. The service has 17 stations including several in San Francisco, Oakland and Palo Alto, as well as San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport, according to Edmunds.

DriveNow members pay $39 to join the service, and rides cost $12 for the first half-hour and 32 cents per each extra minute. The San Francisco branch plans to add 80 more ActiveE electric vehicles to bring the fleet’s total to 150.

The service could eventually expand to more parts of the U.S., although it would face competition from growing car-share options like Uber, Lyft and Zipcar… (more)

The best transportation option in San Francisco might be one you’ve never heard of

Rakesh Agrawal : venturebeat – excerpt

Startups Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar get all of the attention when we discuss alternative transportation options in San Francisco. But one of my favorites is BMW’s little talked about DriveNow…

According to CEO Rich Steinberg, there are currently 70 vehicles in the San Francisco market. Although the service was off to a slow start, usage has now picked up, and the company is considering doubling its fleet.

Like Daimler’s car2go product, which I wrote about before, some of the expansion Steinberg would like to see has been blocked by the intransigence of the SFMTA. I asked why there were no DriveNow locations in the Mission or on the west side of the city. Steinberg said he’d love to have them out there, but he can’t find suitable parking spaces. The demand is there, but he can’t fill it.

In other markets in which DriveNow operates (all in Europe; San Francisco is the first U.S. deployment), cars can be parked almost anywhere in the city; there are no designated stations. But Steinberg couldn’t get the SFMTA to cooperate with such an approach.

I asked David Chiu, my San Francisco supervisor and the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, why this is the case.

“I’ve championed city car-sharing with past legislation and have also advocated for one-way car sharing, as I’ve learned about issues from some of the new providers,” Chiu responded. “I understand the SFMTA has been a bit slower on this new innovation than we’d all like.”… (more)

“some of the expansion Steinberg would like to see has been blocked by the intransigence of the SFMTA.”

Another complaint about the lack of parking in the city, and this time it is coming from a rental contractor set up by the SFMTA. The SFTMA Board spends more time fighting cars by removing parking, than it does running Muni. You know what to do about it. Letters of complaint and suggestions for expanding parking options near freeway exits can go to the parties listed here: http://discoveryink.wordpress.com/letters-and-comments/san-francisco-officials/

BMW revs up car sharing, parking in S.F.

By Michael Cabanatuan, Rachel Gordon : SFGate – excerpt

BMW is shifting into a higher gear in San Francisco, drifting away from simply selling fancy and pricey cars.
Now you can pay BMW to borrow a car to run an errand across town or to find and reserve a parking space.
At a City Hall press conference Monday, BMW officials joined Mayor Ed Lee and city environmental officials to announce two programs meant to establish the German luxury carmaker’s credentials as a company that supports sustainability as well as to broaden its reach into other parts of the transportation market…
More information is available at www.drive-now.com. Drivers can sign up to be e-mailed more information on the parking program at www.park-now.com
Ad copy reads, “Carry your parking spot with you.”
(more)

How much of Lee and Reiskin’s time is devoted to producing these deals? and how much will the city make?
Ad copy reads, “Carry your parking spot with you.” BMW plans to start selling the electric cars within a year or two, meanwhile they get to test them out as rentals.
Tracking the soem of he promotions for BMW’s new ActivE electric cars, and the $90/day BMW car shares that come with DriveNow and ParkNow:

Related:
BMW introduces DriveNow carsharing, ParkNow service to San Francisco
BMW Group Announces Launch of ParkNow Mobile Parking Service and Details DriveNow Car-Sharing Service, Featuring 70 All-Electric BMW ActiveE Vehicles, in San Francisco
BMW Announces Launch of ParkNow Mobile Parking Service
BMW Group launches premium car sharing in US
Mayor Lee Touts BMW Car Sharing Service
BMW Launching ParkNow and Expanding DriveNow to Solve Traffic Problems
BMW Launches Car-Sharing Service, Parking App In San Francisco
BMW revs up car sharing, parking in S.F.
BMW Brings Electric car Sharing to San Francisco
BMW Launches ParkNow, DriveNow Parking
BMW To Pilot Electric Car Sharing Scheme in San Francisco
BMW DriveNow car sharing and ParkNow mobile parking service announced
BMW launches all electric car sharing, DriveNow, in San Francisco
BMW launches car sharing in San Francisco
BMW unveils electric car-sharing service in SF
Ed Lee Welcomes BMW Electric Car-Sharing Service
US: BMW Group launches premium car sharing in US
BMW’s DriveNow electric car sharing comes to the US
US: BMW Group announces ParkNow JV, EV car-sharing

BMW moves into parking, car-sharing

Posted By: Michael Cabanatuan : SFGate: City Insider – excerpt

BMW is shifting into a higher gear in San Francisco, drifting away from simply selling fancy and pricey cars.
Now you can pay BMW to borrow a car to run an errand across town or to find and reserve a parking space.
At a press conference in front of City Hall, BMW officials joined Mayor Ed Lee and city environmental officials to announce two new programs that aim to establish the German luxury car-maker’s credentials as a company that supports sustainability as well to broaden its reach into other parts of the transportation market.
The car-sharing program, known as DriveNow, allows people who enroll to use BMW’s 70-car fleet of  ActivE all-electric cars, now parked at 14 locations around the city. The cars cost $12 for the first half hour and 32 cents for each additional minute….
(more)

Are public streets and taxi medallions really the property of the SFMTA, to be sold as commodities to the highest bidder? What next? A space at the beach where you can stand to see the sunset? We need a serious discussion about the concept of the public commons.