April 9, 2014; San Francisco Chronicle

Some public-private partnerships are made by their times, but when they are right on time, it can be a thing of beauty.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has approved a plan to set aside 900 of San Francisco’s 281,000 street parking spaces for car sharing groups. Three firms will be included: national car-sharing company Zipcar, Bay Area nonprofit City CarShare, and San Francisco’s Getaround, which helps people rent their cars to others for limited periods.

All vehicles eligible for this special city program must be available for sharing 75 percent of the time and on an hourly basis. The program will also help push car sharing to less-affluent neighborhoods away from the city center, so 30 percent of the reserved spaces must be located in the outer two-thirds of the city.

Jay Primus, manager of SFpark, the city’s parking management program, comments, “Car sharing helps us achieve so many of our goals as a city…It allows us to grow gracefully while still giving people access to a car.” He adds, “Academic research shows that every shared vehicle takes 10 private vehicles off the road. But we know that communicating that will be a challenge.”—Ruth McCambridge