Opinion: On-street car sharing is San Francisco’s future

By Scott Wiener : sfchronicle – excerpt

The Municipal Transportation Agency recently began implementing an on-street car-sharing program to improve access to car sharing in San Francisco. The program has caused some controversy, given the many challenges surrounding parking in our city. However, this program is central to San Francisco’s long-term transportation success. Studies suggest that car sharing will induce some residents to give up their cars, which will reduce competition for parking…

Some have objected to the program as privatizing public space. However, the city has long allowed private entities to monopolize street parking spaces if the use serves a practical purpose. Private businesses reserve curb space to receive shipments. Passenger loading zones for taxicabs occupy space in front of hotels. Similarly, homeowners are permitted to eliminate on-street parking by privatizing curb space via a curb cut for a driveway. We allow these privatizations of curb space in an effort to balance our community’s varied transportation needs. Allowing a small amount of curb space for car-sharing services is no different. Car sharing is a valuable service to the public… (more)

The fact that a District Supervisor is hawking an enterprise that completes with private businesses is alarming. Since when is the city and everything in it for sale? Since when is it ok for a city regulatory agency to complete with the businesses that it is regulating? Call it what it is. City Car Share is a rental business.

There are a number of problems with the sharing economy, which we will not go into here. We will mention the fact that car manufacturers rely on car sales to pay for the R and D that got us to the point we are now with cleaner more efficient engines. If you want better products you will need to boost sales, not cut them off.