First car share spaces being installed in the Richmond District

Photo by David H.

Cub reporter David H. snapped this pic today of one of our first car share spaces being installed on Clement Street near 24th Avenue.

These new car share spaces are part of a city-wide effort to convert 900 street parking spaces into ones reserved for car share companies in the next two years. So far, 20 have been approved for the outer Richmond District.

Three car sharing companies – Zipcar, Bay Area nonprofit City CarShare and San Francisco’s Getaround – will be the recipients of the spaces. According to the Chronicle, the SFMTA approved the program after a smaller two-year test, involving a dozen street spaces, was deemed a success.

According to the agreement with the car sharing companies, at least 30 percent of the spaces have to be in the outer two-thirds of the city, and the price charged to the companies for spaces becomes less expensive in neighborhoods distant from downtown, as a way to encourage them to spread their vehicle fleet around the city. The monthly fee ranges from $50 per space per month in the outer third of the city to $150 in closer-in neighborhoods to $225 in the downtown area. [SFGate]

The new car share spot shown in the photo above was formerly a metered parking space (note the red hood over the meter). Strangely, neither 24th Avenue or Clement Street were included in the list of spaces that were approved at the July 11 hearing (see list below).

David said the city painters who are converting the spaces also had other spots on their work order that were not on the list that was shared publicly. Perhaps some spots were changed at the hearing or approved at another time? UPDATE: Commenter Andrew let us know that there were other spaces, including this one on 24th Avenue, approved in a May 16, 2014 meeting (PDF).

We think the SFMTA could have been more creative and come up with a curb color other than red for the car sharing spaces (isn’t it counter-intuitive to park in a red spot?!). How about a lovely baby blue or a rainbow painted curb?

Sarah B.

Related: City plans to remove 20 residential parking spaces for car share companies

A follow-up story from KTVU:

A. 27th Avenue, east side, from 24 feet to 64 feet north of Geary Boulevard (40-foot zone removes Post IDs #127-4660, #127-04640, for 2 car share parking permits–Z004 & Z095)
B. 28th Avenue, east side, from Clement Street to 38 feet northerly (38-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z001 & Z094)
C. 33rd Avenue, west side, from 16 feet to 52 feet south of Balboa Street (36-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z003 & Z093)
D. 34th Avenue, west side, from 16 feet to 52 feet north of Geary Boulevard (36-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z092 & Z002)
E. 42nd Avenue, east side, from 16 feet to 52 feet south of Geary Boulevard (36-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z005 & Z090)
F. 42nd Avenue, east side, from Balboa Street to 35 feet northerly (35-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z006 & Z091)
G. Anza Street, north side, from 9 feet to 29 feet east of 44th Avenue (20-foot zone, for 1 car share parking permit space–G038)
H. Balboa Street, south side, from 3 feet to 37 feet west of 20th Avenue (34-foot zone, for 2 car share parking permits–Z030 & Z096)
I. Balboa Street, south side, from 28 feet to 71 feet west of 6th Avenue (43-foot zone removes Post IDs #321-05050, #321-05070, for 2 car share parking permits–Z031 & Z098)
J. Cabrillo Street, south side, from 20 feet east of 37th Avenue (20-foot zone, for 1 car share parking permit space–G040)


  1. I called and spoke to Peter in Eric Mar’s office about this. I pay $200/month for a garage space. These FOR-PROFIT companies are paying the city $50/month in the Avenues. Total pandering worthy of Ed Lee and his cronies! Paying for parking is already built into these company’s biz plans. Why should we subsidize their business model???

    You, a tax paying D1 resident get no breaks. Corporate companies that probably hide income to avoid taxes get subsidies! Total bullshit.

  2. I agree that this is total BS more taxpayer giveaways to for profit corporations by our conniving politicians

  3. Eric Mar’d only cares about his next election for high public office. He has done nothing to benefit community and enhance the lives of the residents. What if I start a private share economy, sharing a car among 5 friends, would that allow us to park for chum change too?

  4. I like Eric and he is actually very progressive on many issues, especially tenant rights. But for some reason, if you put the word “sharing” in front of any economic model, ALL these guys get soft.

  5. Why not use some of that median space going to waste down the middle of Geary for some of these parking spaces? It might be awhile before it gets used for anything else like that BRT business.

  6. If this is not listed on the list, why do we just accept it. It needs to be gone. Parking is a premium in SF, and these spaces are just taken, with no thought for neighborhood residents. Where is Eric now? This is absurd. I am voting all these guys out. They do nothing but fill their pockets with favors.

  7. Uh, the people using the services are neighborhood residents too. So if you have a car, you can pay $110 a year to store it, but if a bunch of people using a single car pay $600 a year, suddenly that’s beyond the pale?

    But, hey, if you think it’s more fair, I’m all for expanding this program to anyone and everyone who wants such a space.

    PS: these are not the first. There has been one on 4th & Clement, at least, for the better part of a year.

  8. I wonder how many of these greased-politician, stolen-car spot corporate cars are going to get slashed tires, busted windows, etc etc sitting in their stolen spots

  9. Eric Mar checked out of District 1 once you all voted him back in. Don’t make the same mistake during the next election by voting someone who will just use the Richmond as a stepping stone and actually do something that we as voters care about for OUR District.

  10. Carsharing companies have been reluctant to put cars in the Avenues because they were concerned that there would not be enough usage. This is really been annoying if you carshare and you live way out in the Outer Richmond. Since selling my car over ten years ago, I am more likely to ride Muni, my bike, or walk, but having access to a car via carsharing is helpful. Therefore, I am happy to see incentives to expand carsharing. Here are few things to consider for those of you who are freaking out about parking spaces, use of tax dollars, and community benefits:

    1. If you are concerned about the corporate overlords making a profit, become a member of a carsharing non-profit

    2. Surveyed households owned an average of 0.47 vehicles per household before carsharing, the average dropped to 0.24 after carsharing (http://www.uctc.net/access/38/access38_carsharing_ownership.shtml)

    3. It is estimated that every carsharing vehicle removes between 9 and 13 other vehicles from the road. (http://www.uctc.net/access/38/access38_carsharing_ownership.shtml)

    4. Carsharing members reduce their ownership of older vehicles and shift their driving towards newer, more efficient vehicles. (http://www.uctc.net/access/38/access38_carsharing_ownership.shtml)

    5. Carsharing significantly reduces the daily vehicle miles traveled ( pg. 38 http://iurd.berkeley.edu/wp/2006-07.pdf)

    6. Carsharing reduces greenhouse gas emissions (http://transweb.sjsu.edu/MTIportal/research/publications/documents/Carsharing%20and%20Co2%20(6.23.2010).pdf )

    7. People use public transit and non-motorized modes (walking, biking) more after joining carsharing (http://tsrc.berkeley.edu/carsharingtransitimpact)

    8. The financial burden of your personal car is shared with the entire community. These indirect costs are paid with tax dollars regardless of number of miles driven by individual taxpayers: road repair, pollution (water, air, and noise), waste disposal, etc.

    9. As we expand carsharing we must also improve public transit. Having a transit pass and carsharing reduce the number of trips taken in personal cars. (http://iurd.berkeley.edu/wp/2006-07.pdf)

    10. This calculator is fantastic for figuring out how much money you can save by driving your personally owned vehicle less http://www.carfreediet.com/pages/the-calculator/

  11. Let me see if I get this correct.

    A parking meter was taken out. That meter is $2 an hour or there about. In a month that is over $400 in revenue (9hours x 2dollars x 6days x 4weeks). So, The City is asking for something like $50 to $150 for the parking space from these private companies (could care less if they are for or not for profit). Net loss to The City is over $200 a month.

    What good management.

  12. I spoke to Andy Thornly and he assured me and my neighbors that the spaces for ride share at the south corner of 20th ave and Balboa ,(H) would not be implemented . Myself and my neighbors are still hopeful Mr Thornly is a man of his word. Fingers crossed.

  13. @Andrew – Thanks for clarifying when those additional spaces were discussed/approved.

    Sarah B.

  14. Again, I would like to reiterate that we are more than happy to facilitate any specific concerns about the location of CarSharing spaces. We have successfully moved a few of these spots based on people’s concerns.

    But the data is very solid: Carsharing has helped reduce car ownership in other cities and it is worth trying it in San Francisco. The data that Amy shared above illustrates this point.

    And the invitation stands for any issues you want to talk about. So please give me a ring or send me an email!

    Peter Lauterborn, Legislative Aide
    Office of Supervisor Eric Mar, District 1
    San Francisco Board of Supervisors
    City Hall, Room 284
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Direct: (415) 554-7411

  15. Hello Folks —

    I’m Andy Thornley, the project manager for the SFMTA’s on-street car share pilot program, pardon me for a long comment, I hope it’ll provide some useful information about the on-street car share pilot.

    First, to Julie’s comment at #14: yes, Zipcar’s proposal to experiment with a pod on Balboa St at 20th Avenue has been set aside, we think it would be a productive and well-used location for many neighbors, but we’ll keep working with Zipcar to find a different location to test.

    So far 12 parking spaces in the Richmond District have been approved for pilot on-street car share permits, after five public hearings and three SFMTA board meetings, see this map for details:


    and see the SFMTA On-Street Car Share Pilot Project page for much more background and information:


    including a log of public hearings and board meetings held to date, academic research on car sharing, and other resources.

    Car sharing (short-term on-demand car rental) is a simple idea that’s been around for a while; local non-profit City CarShare has been operating in San Francisco since 2001. More and more San Franciscans are becoming car share members to reduce their parking headaches and transportation expenses while maintaining access to “just enough car” for errands and other trips. Owning a car is an expensive proposition (the AAA’s most recent analysis puts the cost of owning an average sedan at $8,876 per year, and that’s above and beyond the original purchase price) and car sharing can provide a practical way to have a car when you need one without the other complications and expenses.

    Traditionally, car share vehicles have been located in parking lots, gas stations, and garages, where members can pick them up and drop them off, but that can mean a long walk to a semi-hidden location to use a car, especially in the Richmond District. Committed to encouraging car sharing as a practical transportation choice, the SFMTA is conducting an experiment to place shared vehicles in parking spaces right on the street, right in our neighborhoods, as a potential tool to manage parking by helping people own fewer cars and thus reduce the competition for scarce on-street parking.

    You may have seen (and maybe you’ve used) the City CarShare car that is stationed on 4th Avenue just of Clement Street. Dozens of people already use this car every month, which helps keep the local car population a bit lower as it helps neighbors save money and do the things they need to do with a car, without having to own a car.

    California law was amended in 2006 to explicitly establish car share parking permits, see California Vehicle Code Section 22507.1 for details. Sacramento and other California cities already have on-street car share programs underway based on this CVC regulation, and Denver, Washington DC, Portland OR, Austin TX, and Tucson AZ all have on-street car share programs in operation.

    Permitting private businesses the exclusive use of the city’s curb parking (even just a fraction of a percent of the total supply) raises serious questions about equity and the public good, so the SFMTA is testing things further and collecting more data using this pilot. Participating car share organizations (City CarShare, Zipcar, and Getaround) will pay monthly permit fees for the parking spaces, and they’ll have to collect and share lots of data with the SFMTA about how the vehicles are being used, and who’s using them. At the end of the pilot the SFMTA will evaluate the data and potentially recommend making on-street car sharing a permanent program, if the pilot experience supports the notion.

    Of course, the phenomenon of neighbors sharing vehicles and freeing up parking spaces won’t happen the moment a shared vehicle is located in the neighborhood, and of course it’s challenging for people to imagine how things could change in a few years if a shared vehicle was one of the cars parked on their street. The SFMTA and participating car share organizations are eager for the pilot to be productive and meaningful, and we’re committed to keep working on the details throughout the pilot for everyone’s sake.

    For more information about the SFMTA’s on-street car share pilot, including a map of proposed and approved locations, visit the car share pilot project website:


    or contact me, Andy Thornley, at andy.thornley@sfmta.com or 415-701-4213.

  16. But if car share programs are not paying market rates for the spots they’re taking away from businesses or residents, then they’re being given an unfair advantage in the name of being “progressive.” SFMTA looks at all the “trendy” ways of dealing with the problem, rather than removing blue disabled placard abuse (free parking in the day and age of technology? Really?) or installing MORE METERS.

  17. I had an idea – instead of charging car share companies for specific spots – taking these spots out of general circulation (so no one can park there when the spot is empty) – why not charge car share companies a monthly fee per car to park *anywhere*. In other words, someone using a car share car wouldn’t have to feed meters, regardless of where they park – but the City would make it up (or part of it, anyway) though a monthly per-car fee. And conversely, someone using a car share car wouldn’t have a problem if the specific spot near their house was already taken, because they can park anywhere (at least, anywhere that it’s legal!).

    This frees up all parking spaces for all users – and yet ably incentivies people to use car share programs, because wherever they go in the City, they wouldn’t have to feed meters. Seems like a win-win for both non-users and users of the car share services.

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