Car-sharing program accelerates

Idle cars in The City can now be put to use in car-sharing programs after legislation was signed into law Wednesday.

The concept for the car sharing is that privately owned vehicles could be used in a program, and the owners would receive a portion of the payment used to drive the car. The hindrance has been that insurance companies will not allow such a program.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, however, signed legislation Wednesday that allows car owners to share their vehicles through a personal car-sharing program without losing their insurance.

“We are very pleased the governor signed the person-to-person legislation,” said Assemblyman Dave Jones, D-Sacramento, who proposed the bill in April. “Now, for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs will be able to get about the business of offering personal vehicle sharing.”

A pilot program — a partnership with Spride Car Share and City CarShare — is in the process of launching, said City CarShare CEO Rick Hutchinson.

With one car already set to go, Hutchinson said that since the bill’s signing, City CarShare has received an increased number of calls from owners looking to put their vehicles into the program. 

“This is so exciting because we will immediately have exposure to the concept of personal car sharing,” said Hutchinson.

During the coming months, Spride cars will be available in designated spaces throughout CarShare’s existing operating areas within The City. Borrowers will be able to locate the cars using mobile cell phone technology currently being developed by Spride.

The program is aiming to add 20 or more cars to the program to fully evaluate its effectiveness and to determine high-demand locations, according to Hutchinson.

After Jan. 1, when Assembly Bill 1871 goes in full effect, Hutchinson said they are hoping to expand beyond their traditional sharing areas and provide personal car sharing to people outside The City.

“The sky’s really the limit. I see no reason why there can’t be dozens and dozens of vehicles in the Bay Area sometime in 2011,” said Hutchinson.

The Spride car-sharing program is different from other cars-on-demand models like Zipcar because it will allow people to borrow cars both for short and long-term trips, possibly using the vehicles for an entire weekend.

“What we particularly like about this is it gives us increased flexibility without taking away availability for regular daily use,” Hutchinson said. “It will integrate what City CarShare already does but it will also enhance accessibility.”

Arnold SchwarzeneggerBay Area NewsCity CarShareLocal

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read