Category Archives: parking

Flightcar launches Monthly service for car owners with guaranteed payments

Screen Shot 2013-08-05 at 12.11.58 PMToday FlightCar launched a full-service peer-to-peer carsharing option for car owners who don’t need their cars more than 4 days per month.

FlightCar Monthly offers car owners a guaranteed payment between $150 and $400/month, regardless of if their car is rented. Its a full-service program: car owners don’t need to do anything between rentals or deal with other drivers, FlightCar handles that. FlightCar offers free vehicle pickup, monthly auto-renewal, $1 million in insurance, town car service, and a car wash. Owners can use their car up to 4 days per month completely free. Accessing your can required a BART or CalTrain ride to SFO/Millbrae where FlightCar will meet you with a towncar, or alternatively, they will drive the car to your house for a $20 fee.

FlightCar Monthly is currently in beta. There are no signup fees, but all vehicles must be approved. It is available in both Boston and San Francisco. Mileage is limited to 1200 miles/month, with every additional mile being reimbursed at $0.35/mile.

This service will be useful for car owners going on long trips or who spend only part of their time in the Bay Area or Boston and don’t want the hassle of storing their car while gone (and would like to actually earn income on their vehicle). For those with shorter trips, Flight Car’s traditional service is still available.

SFMTA to allow designated on-street parking for peer-to-peer carsharing vehicles

SFMTA released a draft of its Car Sharing Policy and Pilot Project. They are announcing a pilot project to allocate some on-street parking spaced to carsharing and peer-to-peer carsharing vehicles in San Francisco. Peer-to-peer carsharing vehicles are cars owned by individuals that are available for the general public to use via services like GetAround and Relay Rides.

The pilot will allocate up to 150 spaces (0.05% of the total on-street spaces in San Francisco) to carsharing. Only two spaces per block at most will be allocated.

In order for peer-to-peer cars to be included, they must be available for use by the general public 75% of the time. How this is enforced or monitored is not indicated.

carsharing-zones

On-street carsharing Zones

Additionally, carsharing organizations must allocate a minimum percentage of cars to the less-dense areas of San Francisco. These ares are typically poorly served by traditional carsharing companies (City CarShare and Zipcar) as they have less density, higher car ownership rates and thus less demand for carsharing. A minimum of 15% of spaces must be allocated to Zone 2 and 15% to Zone 3.

Zone 2 includes the dense, carsharing friendly Upper Haight, which is where I expect all of the required Zone 2 spaces to be allocated. Zone 3 may see the required cars being allocated near SF State or possibly along the edge in the Inner Sunset.

The plan requires carsharing organizations to do community outreach to recruit new embers, provide a summary of the outreach and to provide data on usage to SFMTA.

The full draft:

CurbTXT enables communication with owners of parked cars

CurbTXT_Logo_webWhen you see a parked car with their lights on, blocking a driveway or with something else wrong, there isn’t anything you can do to alert the owner. CurbTXT wants to change that.

By placing a small sticker on their bumper with a phone number, passerby can contact owners in anonymous, one-way SMS communication by sending a text to their license plate. For example: “CA3214567 you’re blocking my driveway – pls move”.

Image by thienzieyung

Image by thienzieyung

Anyone can send the SMS, not just car owners or users of CurbTXT. So even if only a few vehicles have registered, it’s still a useful service to the owners. CurbTXT currently supports San Francisco, but there is no reason why it couldn’t be extended to other cities.

CurbTXT is free, car owners only need to register online and then either pick up or get mails their sticker. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors supports the concept as well, as the city doesn’t make money from towing cars (the towing company does).