1,000 Parking Spaces To Be Reserved For Car-Sharing Services

by Fiona Lee: hoodline – excerpt

Last week, SFMTA’s Board of Directors approved a full permit program for car-sharing companies after a 2013 pilot that allowed companies to use 200 public parking spaces.

Under the plan, 1,000 parking spots will be converted into car-sharing spaces.

“Each permitted parking space served many people, rather than just one private vehicle at a time,” wrote SFMTA in its report. It also revealed that a car could be used by as many as 19 people if it was part of a car-sharing service, compared to a private car, which usually only has two users…

During public comment, some residents opposed the move.

“This policy basically gives public parking spaces, the gray spaces that everybody uses,” said Patrick Mayley, who felt that the car-share companies should use private lots. “We’re essentially looking at giving public spaces away to large private corporations…This is not an example to me of sharing.”…(more)

This is wrong on so many levels. The public was not warned about this program. Pieces of it were sprung on us at a series of SFMTA Board meetings where the details were confusing and difficult to understand or comment on.

More members of the public would have expressed opposition if the public knew about the hearings. This article doesn’t mention the Scoot program, that was set up to allow the private Scoot rental company a special deal for their scooters that is not extended to all scooter rental companies. SFMTA is picking winners. Scoot is a winner. So were Uber and Lyft before they became a problem. City authorities should put a stop to these special deals that SFMTA is cutting with preferred corporations.

We have been warning about privatization of public property for some time. This is the corporate takeover of our streets, or the selling of our streets by the SFMTA. If you disapprove of this, now is the time to let the supervisors know. They can do something to stop this selling of our streets if enough people complain. You may also want to consider boycotting the corporations that are taking over our streets. If there is no demand for their services, they may rethink their position.

Car Sharing Likely to Expand this Year

by potreroview – excerpt

The San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SFMTA) will consider expanding on-street parking for car share companies when its board of directors meets in March.  San Francisco may be the only U.S. city in which public transportation, parking and taxi medallions are all governed by one agency.

As part of a pilot program, started in 2013 set to expire this year, SFMTA rents 205 curbside spaces to Zip Car, Getaround and City CarShare. At pilot launch the agency declared that car sharing met several SFMTA goals, notably a reduction in the number of vehicles in the City, which results in improved parking management and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

At the time, SFMTA compiled a list of 900 on-street spaces for possible car shares.  However, Andy Thornley, who heads the program, said that he doesn’t believe the program will expand that drastically. Thornley, who indicated that his team would be recommend enlarging the initiative, stated that the exact number of additional car share space is yet to be determined, and that, even if the board approves expansion, taking additional parking spaces from general use will require public outreach...

“It’s the worst thing that’s happened to businesses here,” bemoaned Khaled Ghanma, who owns All States Best Foods across the street. Many of his customers come by automobile.  According to Ghanma, library patrons often double park when making drop-offs, a situation he called dangerous.

Kayren Hudiburgh, who owns nearby The Good Life Grocery, shared the sentiment. “I don’t think they should be taking parking on the street,” she said. “They are taking two prime spots for customers. If customers can’t find parking, they go on by and find somewhere else to shop. It’s hurting small businesses.” She wondered why an arrangement couldn’t be made with the nearby College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has a parking lot...

Since implementing the pilot program SFMTA has learned a few things about where spots work best. Putting them at the front or end of blocks helps people who don’t frequently drive park more easily(more)

Drivers who don’t own and drive their own cars are the most dangerous on the road. If they have trouble parallel parking, how safe are they driving unfamiliar vehicles when dealing with constant changes on the roads and pedestrians and cyclists who think it is the driver’s responsibility to avoid hitting them?

Parking Seemed Like Such a Great Idea. It Wasn’t

By Ellen Huet and Jing Cao : bloomberg

Zirx and Luxe are shifting away from the on-demand model

Venture capital firms bet tens of millions of dollars that startups offering affordable valet parking to harried urbanites would flourish in the on-demand economy pioneered by Uber.

Parking valets working for companies with names like Luxe, Zirx and Valet Anywhere became a common sight in the congested precincts of San Francisco, Chicago, New York and other U.S. cities. With a few taps on a phone, customers could summon a valet and avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot and then squeezing into it. Once they’d finished shopping, dining or taking a meeting, the valet would drive up with the vehicle.

Turns out it’s hard to make money parking cars. Two startups (Caarbon and Vatler) quickly imploded and three more (Luxe, Zirx and Valet Anwyhere) are shifting away from the on-demand model. Their retreat is a cautionary tale for scores of startups flogging instant gratification to people who, on the spur of the moment, want their cocktails mixed, laundry folded and bodies massaged….(more)

Community Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

by Ellie Van Houtte : losaltosonline – excerpt

It’s no understatement to claim that Cory Althoff’s new late-night transportation service – Midnight Express – happened overnight.

Just before Christmas, Althoff, a Los Altos resident, was joking with his buddies about the lack of affordable transportation options for returning home to the South Bay from a night on the town in San Francisco. Their banter resulted in the new transportation service.

Althoff and co-founder Michael Horton of Santa Clara were miffed by the expense of private taxis and other car-sharing services that required them to hand over at least $100 to get home. Like many other young professionals in the area, the duo wanted to enjoy the San Francisco nightlife without the nightmare of parking and late-night commutes after public trains stop running for the evening… (more)

Now is the perfect time to re-introduce the jitney. Just call it the sharing shuttle and no one will object. No need to get a chauffeur’s license. Just put up a web site with an app.

SF taxi decline debunked by cab companies

sfexaminer – excerpt

In September, San Francisco’s new taxi head calculated that there had been a 65 percent decline in cab traffic based on ridership in March 2012 compared to July 2014, an alarmingly steep figure that drew skepticism from the industry.

Cab companies are admittedly suffering — owed in large part to app-based ride services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar — but it turns out that staff at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency generated that figure using only a small sample of the statistics those companies are required to submit and also compared two very different data sets…

Management with The City’s largest taxi companies, Yellow Cab Cooperative and Luxor Cab, pointed out that the SFMTA report framing the highest and lowest trip numbers around different months — in this case, 1,424 in March 2012 and 504 in July — could be misleading because ridership changes from season to season…

Regardless of the numbers used, both the SFMTA and taxi companies realize there has been a ridership decline in the past couple years and they agree it’s due to the likes of Uber, Lyft and Sidecar — dubbed transportation network companies by the California Public Utilities Commission, the state regulator… (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/

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

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
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