Update: The program would actually allow City workers to use vehicles from a private company's pool of shared vehicles.

SAN JOSE, CA – The City of San Jose is in the process of accepting bids from outside service providers for a car sharing program.

Car sharing programs give members access to vehicles on an hourly-basis. Members can reserve a vehicle online or by phone and would use an electronic key card to access vehicles. Car sharing vendors bill members for time or mileage accrued.

The City is exploring this option because it expects neighborhoods in San Jose to become denser in the future, according to City documents.

The request for propsals states that the program is expected to provide the following:

  • Possible partnership with San José State University.
  • Replace a portion of the City fleet with car share vehicles.
  • Provide free parking to car share vehicles in City garages.
  • Provide designated on-street parking spaces for car share vehicles.
  • Assist in marketing the program.
  • Opportunity for City to provide maintenance for car share vehicles.

The City cited studies that demonstrated that a car-sharing program can reduce parking demand, traffic, and improve access to transportation for lower income residents.

According to City documents, a 2004 UC Berkeley study of car-sharing in San Francisco found that the program’s 1,500 members reduced usage of automobiles by 47 percent over three years via increased use of public transit, biking, and walking. This saved 20,000 lbs. of carbon emissions and 720 gallons of gasoline each day.