Permanent street parking eyed for shared cars

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay – excerpt

“There’s a fundamental sense of inequity.”

San Francisco’s transportation agency is contemplating whether to make its on-street car-sharing parking program permanent.

Last Friday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency released its findings on a two-year pilot that allowed three car-sharing companies – City CarShare, Getaround and Zipcar – to use 200 curbside parking spaces throughout The City.

Andy Thornley of the SFMTA’s Sustainable Streets Division, shared the findings at the transit agency’s Policy And Governance Committee last Friday with some promising results…

There were some setbacks for both City CarShare and Getaround when it came to the availability of vehicles because of vandalism, theft or attempted theft of car-sharing vehicles, the report said.

The availability of Getaround vehicles were also affected because the company does not own its own fleet, as it is a peer-to-peer concept where the company relies on vehicle owners to make them available for members.

Construction and street closures also played a role in putting car-sharing parking spaces offline, said Thornley…

“You have turned a piece of the public realm into a private spot for an individual who lives in the neighborhood and that’s pretty perverse…

Currently, the car-sharing companies can remain in the designated car-sharing parking space even during street sweeping days as long as they clean and maintain the parking spaces themselves.

Peskin said this was giving preferential treatment to the companies and it was not fair for residents who get up early in the morning to move their vehicles while car-sharing vehicles can remain at the curbside parking space:

“There’s a fundamental sense of inequity.”

Read the full pilot evaluation on the SFMTA’s website... (more)

Inequality equals discrimination and that is not legal. Ever wonder why the SFMTA costs the city more than any other in legal settlements? This is one of the reasons. Must be nice to have access to unlimited legal funds. How long can city afford to defend the SFMTA and protect the uninsured, undocumented, and homeless residents they have promised to support?

How smart are these SMART systems that are disrupting our city for the benefit of the few?

Carshare reserved parking not favored by everyone

By David Stevenson : ktvu – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO —

City CarShare user, Jessica Martinson says she never has trouble finding parking in San Francisco.

“I have parking magic,” laughed Martinson.

Martinson now also has 22 new curbside spots specifically set aside for drivers like her, including a formerly metered spot on Clement Avenue near 24th Avenue in the city’s Richmond district. It was converted to car share-only just a few days ago.

The goal of the program is to encourage car share use. Transit officials say every shared car takes dozens more off the road.  But not everyone on this busy block is happy to see this space set aside… (more)

Newsflash! San Francisco has a privileged class.

The Sharing Economy is the Stealing Economy.

The public nonprofit City Car Share, that should be promoting public good will has teamed up with the SFMTA to take public street parking from the public, thereby angering the public they both claim to serve. And they claim they are doing it for you! The only option left to the public is to sue them, which many are doing, or vote against them. Voting is cheaper. Vote No on A and B and Yes on L to send a strong message to city authorities that you do not support the SFMTA.

SFMTA board expands locations for car share vehicles

: sfexaminer – excerpt

Despite dissenting voices from several San Francisco residents, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board members on Tuesday approved 25 new curbside locations across The City which only permitted car share vehicles can occupy.

The vote expands the transit agency’s on-street car share pilot program from its original 12 spaces citywide. Under the program, the curbside locations will be tow-away zones for all but permitted car share vehicles.

Three car sharing companies – City CarShare, Zipcar and Getaround – qualified to participate in the two-year pilot program and have together already requested 450 of 900 parking spaces available. San Francisco has 275,450 spaces on its streets, according to a citywide parking census released in May…

Zipcar relocated 90 percent of its spots where neighbors raised concerns about losing parking, said Jonathan Tyburski, representing the company…

“The City sounds like it’s selling curb to private business. I understand that concern and I would be very resentful of that, but to remind you this is a pilot,” he said. “SFMTA believes there is many public benefits to car sharing.”… (more)

Decisions to “take” public space for private use has angered many residents and merchants who are signing up to support The Restore Transportation Balance initiative. Join us and let the voters have the last word on these matters in Novembers: http://www.restorebalance14.org/

If you object to privatization and commercialization of public property:

 

  • Contact the supervisors and representatives on the MTA CAC and request that they address this matter.
  • Contact the media and let them know how this effects your life and businesses.
  • Let the “sharing companies” know that you will not support them until they relinquish the parking on public streets.
  • Contact legitimate car rental companies and find out how this policy effects them.
  • Ask local businesses how public  parking removal effects them.

 

In pilot scheme, San Francisco gives away public parking to carsharing companies

By : pando – excerpt

A few mornings ago I chanced on a 9”x11” slice bearing the emblem of the Municipal Transportation Agency, on a phone pole outside my apartment.

It concerned an MTA pilot project currently underway which will commercialize a public resource and grant special permission for its use for a select group of local disruptive companies, providing them competitive advantages

And it had nothing to do with Google buses. Sounds like a story, I thought, greedily, submitting to the subsequent chain of Pavlovian reactions.

Yet, it wasn’t quite the story I thought it was.

The notice announced a public hearing for two parking spots on my block that were proposed to be taken over by Zipcar, the preeminent carsharing company owned by Avis. Those spots are among 900 currently intended to be converted to car-sharing use over the next two years, divided equally among Zipcar, City Car Share and Getaround.

Another MTA Pilot, the Commuter Shuttles Policy and Pilot Project, emerged this spring to infamy and outrage. That program, which charges commuter shuttles $1 per use of city bus stops, has been operational since June 1st, so far without incident. The wave of bus blockades and protests that preceded it have also subsided.

The newest surge of tech-revulsion in San Francisco has centered on apps like MonkeyParking and ParkModo, which propose to pay some users to occupy parking spots until other users need them. The outrage these apps have induced has made it all the way to City Attorney’s office, and hinges on the unseemliness (and illegality) of private companies profiting off of public parking, an already scarce resource.

One would expect that news of the city giving away parking spots to a select group of companies would provide a healthy dose of grist to this rage-mill. Perhaps oddly, that hasn’t really been the case…

City Carshare is the elder statesman in the car-sharing market. And I don’t use the word ‘statesman’ lightly: the organization is a non-profit that, in addition to providing a service nearly identical to that of Zipcar, receives grants and donations to influence policy and legislation around “shared mobility”, and develops programs to the ensure the social equity and environmental sustainability of car sharing…

In 2011, City Carshare funded and implemented a similar but smaller pilot in partnership with the MTA. The current program derives from the lessons learned and data gathered during that first experiment. City Carshare and the MTA both point to the success of Zipcar and emergence of other competitors as proof of principle. By opening the playing field to other car sharing outfits and collecting the same data from each, the MTA hopes to better understand the effectiveness of different models.

Of the three chosen, Getaround may raise the most question marks. As a peer-to-peer car sharing network, Getaround users rent cars by the hour, as they do with Zipcar and City Carshare. But Getaround’s fleet of vehicles are private cars owned by other users. While car owners will have to pay to use the spots provided by the MTA (as do Zipcar and City Carshare), they also get paid to do so. Getaround estimates that owners make an average of $500 per month, with top earners clearing a grand…

The MTA will be hosting public hearings for spaces requested by the three organizations throughout the summer, after which the proposed spaces will be sent to the MTA’s (mayor-appointed) Board of Directors. By which I mean to say, speak now or forever hold your peace. A map of the spots requested can be found here.

The absence of backlash until now suggests either that the combatants in the so-called “culture war” in San Francisco are maturing or that the program is successfully flying under the radar. Either way, the atmosphere seems hospitable for public engagement.

Any cogent argument about the MTA’s current public-private programs has to rise above the level of “It’s capitalism and if you don’t like it, you can leave” or “Corporations are evil”, to address the complexities of the City’s efforts to reduce the number of cars in its streets and the validity of its mandate to do so.

For any still-unconvinced, self-proclaimed anarchists, I suggest consulting the American anarchist canon before taking up thy bullhorn. In particular, have a look at Paul Goodman’s 1961 essay “Banning Cars in Manhattan,” in which he proposed substituting private cars with increased mass transit and electric taxicabs. Ask yourself, anarchist, whether shared car services deserve parking spaces in your utopia… (more)

Thanks for the detailed information on the program.

Most of the effort so far has been to get an initiative on the ballot in November. Now that is secured, there is time for a broader discussion about the “shared economy”.  The public space giveaway to corporations program just feeds more anger and bitterness toward the SFMTA.

City CarShare To Run San Francisco’s Electric Bike Sharing Program

– excerpt

Electric bicycles are coming to San Francisco and Berkeley next year as part of a bike sharing pilot program approved by transportation officials Tuesday.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors gave the go-ahead for a $1.5 million grant toward an electric bikeshare program that will partner with City CarShare and the University of California at Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center.
City CarShare is a Bay Area nonprofit member-based carsharing organization that serves San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and other East Bay cities… (more)

SFMTA adds to their CarShare franchise. Another $1.5 million for non-Muni expenses. Doesn’t look like Muni is as broke as they claim. When they need another million or two for one of their pet projects they can always find it. The neighborhoods that depend on Muni don’t count. SFMTA prefers to cater to the folks with the smart phones.

Shared cars eye slice of SF street parking

By Jerold Chinn : sfbay.ca – excerpt

On-street parking spaces for car-sharing in San Francisco could see an uptick starting in September if a two-year pilot project gets approved by The City’s transportation agency board in June.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which will oversee the pilot, would allow car-sharing companies like City CarShare and Zipcar to reserve 150 on-street parking spaces each and an additional 150 spaces the following the year… (more)

The SFMTA is planning to claim public street parking spots for “their” car-share programs, competing with “our” privately owned cars. Is this a conflict of interest or what? How can you trust an outfit that claims they want to help us manage our parking problem by reducing available public parking spots?

Car-share parking coming curbside

By Will Reisman : sfexaminer – excerpt

Hundreds of on-street parking spaces will be set aside for car-sharing vehicles this fall as part of a city-led effort to reduce private-car ownership in San Francisco.
Companies like Zipcar and City CarShare will be allowed to reserve up to 150 spaces apiece, with another 150 potentially available next year. Wheelz, which specializes in peer-to-peer transactions involving personal vehicles, and Car2Go, a startup that features one-way car trips, could be included later.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which manages parking in The City, hopes its effort leads to more walking, biking and public transit use. It said one car-sharing vehicle can replace as many as 13 private vehicles…  (more)

If you disagree with this program of eliminating parking spots let your Supervisors know. and sign the Stop SFMTA petition: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/stop-sfmta-san-francisco

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

by Aaron Bialick : sf.streetsblog.org – excerpt

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…
The SFMTA estimates that every car-sharing vehicle replaces up to 15 privately-owned cars. During the first pilot, residents in some neighborhoods opposed converting street parking to car-sharing spots, since they saw it as a reduction in available car parking. Reiskin said the agency plans to use data to make the case for converting future spots and win over skeptics…
SFMTA planners also aim to increase awareness and visibility of the service to “seed demand” in neighborhoods which, according to City CarShare, currently have very little car-share demand(more)

Is this legal? Is this what the voters anticipated the SFMTA  to do when they voted to merge the various organizations to “Fix the Muni” and “balance the Muni Budget”?

Is this an example of a government entity picking winners  and promoting a private corporation at the expense of the general public?
Is this how the Federal Government plans to sell new EV and clean tech vehicles made-in-America? By punishing car owners who live in cities?

What is wrong with this picture?

RELATED:
SFMTA makes room for Shared Cars

New Car Share Service Demands Parking Privileges

by: Irvin Dawid : planetizen.com – excerpt

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…
 San Francisco is well-served by car sharing services:…

  • non-profit City CarShare that was the first in 2001
  • Zipcar
  • newcomer DriveNow‘s all-electric cars by BMW

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… (more)