On-Street Car Share Pilot

Project Overview

car share vehicle parked at 38 Harriet Street

The SFMTA has been carrying out a pilot to test the use of on-street parking spaces as car share stations ("pods"), with about 140 locations established across the city, permitted to three car share organizations. We're currently completing our evaluation of the on-street pilot and will be presenting our findings to the SFMTA's board of directors in early 2017; sign up on our project announcement list ("Receive Updates" tab above) and we'll keep you posted.

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Project Details

In July 2013 the SFMTA adopted a formal policy to guide the agency's facilitation of car sharing in its off-street parking lots and garages, as well as approving a two-year pilot to test the use of on-street parking spaces as car share stations ("pods"). This on-street car share pilot builds upon lessons learned from a small-scale pilot of on-street car share pods carried out in 2011 & 2012, and will make hundreds of on-street parking spaces available across all districts of the city for use by qualified car share organizations (CSOs) over the two years of the pilot.

Download the SFMTA Car Sharing Policy and Pilot Project document here.

Car sharing has been shown to reduce household vehicle ownership rates, parking demand, vehicle miles traveled, and greenhouse gas emissions. In combination with the SFMTA's efforts to better utilize transportation demand management strategies, improve parking management, and make transit, walking, and bicycling more attractive, car sharing plays a role in helping achieve these goals.

This project aims to expand the availability of car sharing across San Francisco, increase the usage of car sharing, and preserve or increase choice of car share organizations (CSOs). CSOs report that one of the key challenges for expanding car sharing is the difficulty of acquiring parking spaces for car sharing parking or “pods”, which are locations where customers can pick up a car sharing vehicle. SFMTA policy can encourage and facilitate car sharing, and thereby realize more of its benefits.

Participation in the on-street car share pilot is open to qualified CSOs (as defined in the San Francisco Transportation Code) who commit to further requirements for outreach, data collection, pod placement, and vehicle availability.

For more information about the SFMTA car share policy and on-street pilot program, please refer to the SFMTA Car Sharing Policy and Pilot Project document, or contact Andy Thornley at (415) 701-4213 or email Andy.Thornley@sfmta.com.

Car Sharing Research

In addition to the SFMTA's own evaluation of its 2011 On-Street Car Share Pilot, the 2013 car share pilot is motivated and informed by research and analysis of urban car sharing prepared by  Susan Shaheen and Elliot Martin of the UC Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center, as well as other researchers:

The Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Ownership

Elliot Martin and Susan A. Shaheen, Access, UC Berkeley, Spring 2011

Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings – Results from North American Shared-Use Vehicle Survey

Elliot Martin, Susan A. Shaheen, and Jeffrey Lidicker, Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2143, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., 2010, pp. 150–158.

The Impact of Carsharing on Public Transit and Non-Motorized Travel: An Exploration of North American Carsharing Survey Data

Elliot Martin and Susan Shaheen, Energies, Basel, Switzerland, Nov 2011

Greenhouse Gas Emission Impacts of Carsharing in North America

Elliot W. Martin and Susan A. Shaheen, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Vol. 12, No. 4, December 2011

Participating Car Share Organizations

For more information about the participating car share organizations, including membership and how to use shared vehicles, please refer to these websites:

City CarShare



On-Street Car Share Parking Permits

The SFMTA's on-street car share pilot program is facilitated by parking permits duly established, issued, and administered by the SFMTA under the SF City Charter, see Section 8A.102(b)(8) of the City Charter.

On-street car share parking permits are defined and regulated under SF Transportation Code, see Section 911 of the Transportation Code.

California law was amended in 2006 to clarify on-street car share parking under state law, see CA Vehicle Code Section 22507.1.

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We will send you e-mail or SMS updates whenever the following are posted for the On-Street Car Share Pilot project:

  • Upcoming meetings
  • Project updates

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