Carsharing and Public Parking Policies: Assessing Benefits, Costs, and Best Practices in North America

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Carsharing and Public Parking Policies: Assessing Benefits, Costs, and Best Practices in North America


At present, local jurisdictions across North America are evaluating how best to provide parking spaces to carsharing vehicles in a fair and equitable manner. Some have initiated implementation of carsharing parking policies, and many continue to evolve as the demand and need for carsharing grows. Many others are seeking guidance on carsharing parking, based on the fledgling experience of other cities. This study documents the state of the practice with respect to carsharing and parking policies in North America. The study begins by providing background on the evidence of carsharing benefits and an overview of carsharing and parking policy internationally. This is followed, in Section Three, by a more detailed description of carsharing parking policies in North America that highlights key policy attributes, including parking allocation, caps, fees and permits, signage, enforcement, public involvement processes, and impact studies. In Section Four, in-depth case studies are presented for more advanced carsharing parking policies in the United States, including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; and the San Francisco Bay Area and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District. In Section Five, the results of a survey exploring the public’s opinion about the provision of on-street parking for carsharing in the San Francisco Bay Area is presented. Finally, in Section Six, key results are summarized to provide policy guidance to local governmental agencies considering the implementation of carsharing parking policies.



Dr. Susan Shaheen holds a joint research faculty appointment at California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH), headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. In August 2003, Susan became the Policy & Behavioral Research Program Leader at California PATH. In November 2000, she was honored as the first Honda Distinguished Scholar in Transportation at UC Davis. Susan has a PhD in ecology, focusing on technology management and the energy and environmental aspects of transportation. She has 16 years of professional experience in transportation and environmental policy, has authored 25 journal articles and over 40 reports and publications, and is co-editor of a book. She has served on the ITS World Congress program committee since 2002 and is the chair of the New Public Transportation Systems and Technology Committee of the Transportation Research Board.


Dr. Caroline Rodier’s research interests include transportation policy and planning, the behavior effects of new technology applications in transportation, elderly travel behavior, and land-use and travel-demand modeling. She is currently a research engineer at California Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH), headquartered at the University of California, Berkeley. Some of her current projects include a behavioral evaluation of a transit-based smart-parking field test; a statewide public opinion survey on automated speed enforcement; a feasibility analysis of a virtual compliance station for commercial vehicles; social marketing interventions to enhance older traveler mobility; and analyses of modeling uncertainty in the context of environmental impact and air quality conformity processes. She has authored 16 journal articles, 29 proceedings articles, and 22 research reports.


Gail Murray is a Research Associate at The Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University and President of Gail Murray Consulting, specializing in transportation policy, management, planning and operations. She is an associate with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates in San Francisco, where recent projects have included transit and human services transportation coordination plans and a synthesis on university transportation for the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.

She was the Project Leader for an MTI study titled “Conduct Of Background Research for the Establishment of an International Surface Transportation Policy Conference in California, ‘Global Cooperation Through Transportation: Joining Forces Across Borders’” and is a team member of a current MTI study titled “Carsharing and Public Parking Policies: Assessing Benefits, Costs, and Best Practices.” Ms. Murray is a member of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District Board of Directors, elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008. She served as president of the board in 2008 and represents District 1 in central Contra Costa County. She is a former elected member of the Walnut Creek City Council, serving as mayor twice during her 10-year tenure. She was also a member of the city’s Planning and Transportation Commissions. Ms. Murray is a former chair of the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority and currently serves as an ex officio member of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. She is also a former chair of the State of California’s Departmental Transportation Advisory Committee.

Ms. Murray holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She recently completed a term as a Director of the Harvard Alumni Association. Ms. Murray earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism and her secondary credential from San Jose State University. Past professional positions she has held include Acting Assistant General Manager of the Service Development and Marketing Department at AC Transit District in Oakland and Acting Director of Transportation for the University of California, Berkeley. While at UCB, Ms. Murray created the Berkeley TRiP Commute Store, which promoted alternatives to driving alone. Earlier she was the General Manager of Bay Area Transportation Corporation, a non-profit paratransit company serving people with disabilities, the elderly, and Head Start preschoolers.


Elliot Martin is a Post-Doctoral Research Engineer at the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) within the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley. He holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Berkeley, completed in August of 2009. During his time as a graduate student, Elliot has contributed to a variety of projects at TSRC and the Innovative Mobility Research (IMR) group, which he joined in 2005. He has co-authored a variety publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. In 2006, he completed a dual Masters in Transportation Engineering and City and Regional Planning also at UC Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, Elliot worked as an Assistant Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2001 with a degree in Economics and Computer Science.


Adam Cohen is a Research Associate with Innovative Mobility Research (IMR) and the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at the Institute of Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley. Adam joined the group in 2004,and has focused his research on worldwide carsharing. He has co-authored numerous carsharing publications in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings. In 2008, he completed a dual Masters in city & regional planning and international affairs from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Adam graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a dual Bachelors degree in urban studies and legal studies.

June 2010



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