San Francisco will act as BMW’s initial U.S. marketplace for its ParkNow Mobile Parking Service and breakthrough DriveNow program. San Francisco Mayor Ed BMW and Lee Group Member of the Board, Dr. Ian Roberts, made the announcementabout both services together on Aug. 20. The town is the first in the Usa to feature the unique BMW programs.
The ParkNow system, which will be available to BMW drivers starting in September, is definitely an online mobile parking service that allows users to pay for parking in advance. This offers the driver guaranteed access to a spot and clearly defined rates based on their personal preferences. Customers can search for parking in San Francisco through the use of ParkNow’s mobile app or website to reserve, pay, then receive navigation instructions, leading drivers straight to the parking facility. This ought to reduce traffic by keeping cars that would normally be driving around in search of parking off of congested city streets, and it should also reduce emissions for the same reason.
Initially, there will be 14 Park Now locations in and around San Francisco during its initial pilot phase. Stations are located around the city near to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), San Francisco Municipal Railway (MUNI), and various bike-sharing stations. Other locations include the San Francisco International Airport, Oakland Airport Terminal, and Palo Alto. ParkNow partner operators ProPark America, Towne Park, ABM Parking, and California Parking will launch greater than 100 additional ParkNow locations in the coming weeks.
Another endeavor, the DriveNow program, which was launched in June, is a flexible, premium car-sharing program that offers drivers a chance to drive BWM’s first all-electric vehicle, zero-emissions, ActiveE model. The program currently offers a fleet of 70 ActiveE vehicles which are located at eight DriveNow stations in San Palo and Francisco Alto, with another in the works at the San Francisco Airport Terminal. DriveNow stations in San Francisco may also be conveniently located near BART, MUNI, and bike sharing locations. After registering for the program online or in person, customers can locate and book an available car using the DriveNow website or mobile app. Once the car has been rented, it can be returned to any DriveNow station. This provides drivers the benefit of a one-way trip, if needed.
Additionally, thanks to a partnership with California-based Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint network, the greatest network of independently-owned electric vehicle charging stations, DriveNow renters can easily locate a nearby charging station if they need to add a bit more juice on the car throughout their travels.
San Francisco was chosen since the launch point for both systems due to the city’s ongoing implementation and development of innovative strategies to urban challenges regarding traffic congestion, and the need for smarter, greener parking systems. The city estimates that there are approximately 505,000 vehicles in San Francisco, only 448,000 parking spaces available at any moment. On weekends, the total vehicle population is estimated to improve by one more 35,000 vehicles. Approximately one-third of most downtown traffic on weekdays is due to vehicles searching for a parking spot. Hopefully, the new initiatives will reduce some of that congestion to ensure everyone can drive – and ride – happier.