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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Carsharing Parking Policy: Review of North American Practices and San Francisco, California, Bay Area Case Study

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Carsharing provides users access to a shared vehicle fleet for short-term use throughout the day, reducing the need for private vehicles. The provision of on-street and public off-street parking dedicated to carsharing is an important policy area confronting public agencies. As of July 2009, approximately 377,600 individuals were carsharing members in North America in about 57 metropolitan areas. A total of 17 jurisdictions, one state (California), and eight public transit operators in North America have formal and informal carsharing parking policies, pilot projects, and proposed legislation. These are reviewed in this paper, along with a framework for carsharing parking policy that reflects three levels of governmental support. In addition, the authors examine carsharing parking policies in three jurisdictions in the San Francisco Bay Area, which accounts for an estimated 50,000 carsharing members and 1,100 shared-use vehicles. Supporting this examination is an intercept survey on carsharing parking (n=425) conducted in the Bay Area. Results show that most people supported the conversion of some type of spaces for carsharing use, and 48% thought that carsharing organizations should compensate the city for on-street spaces. At the same time, converting most types of spaces was opposed by at least 20% of respondents. Neighborhood residents were generally more in favor of parking conversion for carsharing than people visiting the area for work or errands. Finally, a majority (61%) felt that non-profits should have priority over for-profit organizations for carsharing spaces and should pay less than for-profit organizations.

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