SAN JOSE (KCBS) – High gas prices and new development downtown could be the formula San Jose needs to finally entice a car share company to the city.

High density housing and commercial space have brought enough people to the downtown area make a car share program viable in the Bay Area’s largest city, said Councilman Sam Liccardo.

“In the core and along our transit corridors in this city, we’re finding that parking and traffic are increasingly a concern,” he said.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Car share companies have typically balked at the start-up costs in San Jose because the city is spread out and not densely settled, according to a report to the city council’s transportation and environment committee.

Demographers expect the San Jose’s total population to grow by 400,000 over the next 30 years. So city officials have been studying successful car share programs in Berkeley, San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia to come up with incentives to bring car sharing to San Jose.

The city council approved a proposal Tuesday authorizing staff to solicit proposals for a car share program that would replace some city vehicles, and take into account students at San Jose State University.

Liccardo said the time was finally right with gas prices topping four dollars a gallon.

“We expect that we could be negotiating with a company to bring car share here this fall, possibly having the cars on the road by early 2012,” he said.

The car share program has the support of downtown business groups and residents.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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