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Car2Go Looking to Bring New Car Sharing Service to Columbus

Brent Warren Brent Warren Car2Go Looking to Bring New Car Sharing Service to Columbus
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A car sharing service run by Daimler and featuring Smart Cars is looking at expanding into the Columbus market. The service, called Car2Go, currently operates in 20 cities worldwide, but only seven in the US: Austin, Denver, Portland, Washington DC, Miami, San Diego and Seattle.

Representatives of Car2Go have made presentations to several neighborhood groups to introduce the concept and make their pitch for why it would be a good fit for Columbus.

Spokesperson Katie Stafford says that the response from the meetings – which have targeted neighborhoods close to Downtown – has been positive.

“We have been encouraged by the initial interest that we have received from the community in Columbus,” she stated. “We believe it would be a great fit for Car2Go.”

Erin Miller, Environmental Steward at the City of Columbus, says that the feedback the city has received so far from neighborhood representatives has been positive as well, but they will continue to seek public input until June 1st. At that time, the city will decide whether or not to recommend changes to the code that would grant a blanket parking permit for Car2Go cars.

When asked whether she thought Columbus would be a good fit for the service, Miller stressed that she was not the one to make the decision; that would be up to the community and our elected officials on their behalf. Though She added that the service would make it easier for Columbus residents to go car-less.

“Anything we can do to reduce the reliance on vehicles is a positive thing,” said Miller. “We are starved for transportation options in Columbus and I think this service could allow people to reduce the amount of vehicles they own and allow companies to reduce their pool vehicle fleets.”

More information about Car2Go is available at www.car2go.com.

Photos provided by Car2Go.

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15 Responses to Car2Go Looking to Bring New Car Sharing Service to Columbus

  1. byJody
    byJody May 27, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am

    CoGo + Car2Go + COTA = Carless in Columbus. A new day is dawning. :)

  2. buckette13 May 27, 2013 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm

    Sounds great. I wish they had a mix of cars to choose from. You used to be able to rent a pickup with the one they had on campus.

  3. columbusmike May 27, 2013 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm

    These are the things Columbus needs to focus on. We’re not going to create a better Columbus by building more roads and highways. Transit options are going to be one important tool to differentiate Columbus from the rest of the Midwest.

  4. mrpoppinzs May 27, 2013 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm

    I think the Midwest is moving forward with transit options regardless of what Columbus does. Cleveland and Cincinnati have been making strides.

    This car share is good news. The better news will be hearing people are using it. Though easily accessible via COTA and in the densest population in the city the two car shares that have been centered at OSU (defunct flexcar and now hertz) have not gained much usage. As mentioned, it is up the community whether they work.

  5. RhondaH May 28, 2013 1:33 am at 1:33 am

    Trips are around 38 cents per minute. Considered it a nice to have option but not something mission critical to rely on. It works for a short trip within a service area, but can be more expensive than a traditional daily car rental if you are not careful. It all depends on how you want to plan your errands and if you can get the car you want where and when you want it. Basically Car2Go is a good replacement for a taxicab but a poor replacement for car ownership or the bus. It is always good to have more transportation options.

  6. Walker Evans
    Walker May 28, 2013 8:58 am at 8:58 am

    38 cents per minute sounds comparable to the standard 51 cents per mile that your average car costs to operate:

    http://www.columbusunderground.com/forums/topic/data-porn/page/10#post-503890

    It sounds like a perfectly fine replacement for car ownership if you don’t often travel very far, or are a two-car household that only barely needs a second car.

  7. bucki12 May 28, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am

    I think it comes down to convenience. I know people who have used flexcar when it was at OSU but they still had to pickup and return the car which ate into their time and costs. If they spread enough of these cars in easy to reach places I can see it working.

  8. InnerCore May 28, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am

    We have this service in Miami and my wife just sold her car and began using the service. Overall it’s great. She took a job where she could walk to work. Even though her car was paid off it still cost $150 for monthly parking and another $100 for insurance. So that’s $250 a month before you even get to gas. Now with this service she was able to get rid of the car completely but still has the ability to easily run that occasional errand like going to the doctor.

    Another good benefit is that since there are a lot of cars in the places she travels to and from she can drive from A to B. Leave the car so she’s not paying for it and then come out later and grab another car and go from B to A.

    She uses it 2 to 3 times a month and spends no more than $100 which saves us $150 a month. And that doesn’t include gas or maintenance.

  9. urbanenthusiast
    urbanenthusiast May 28, 2013 11:05 am at 11:05 am

    My partner and I recently invested in a SHORT NORTH condo. We live and work in New York City. While we love Columbus enough to make it our second home, we regularly find limits here that are frustrating to us. That includes no CAR SHARE like ZIPCAR (which we have in NY) and no BIKE SHARE. (although I hear that is coming) Another very frustrating item is NO AFFORDABLE /CONVENIENT PUBLIC (or other) TRANSPORTATION FROM PORT COLUMBUS to the downtown/SHORT NORTH area. Seriously!?
    I HOPE these conditions change soon. COME ON IN CARSHARE-WE NEED YOU!!!

  10. leftovers May 28, 2013 11:08 am at 11:08 am

    It comes down to having these cars placed within walking distance of the people and places they will be used. I am guessing that would be a half mile radius (maybe 3/4 mile?) for a lot of folks.

  11. Walker Evans
    Walker May 28, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm

    @urbanenthusiast – Yes, our bike share is launching very soon: http://www.columbusunderground.com/cogo-new-bike-share-system-is-branded

    Which is only following NYC’s by a month or two, since it just launched last week I believe. ;)

    I agree that COTA service back and forth to the airport should be a pretty high priority, it’s not too bad to take a taxi there currently.

  12. Brent Warren
    Brent Warren May 30, 2013 7:33 pm at 7:33 pm

    Yes, NYC’s bike share started on Monday – I was there, so I got to see all the shiny new bikes and people riding them! It was a partial launch – only for people who had signed up in advance, daily passes will be next..

  13. BrianW July 22, 2013 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm

    I’d love to see this happen. I agree with @innercore’s comment about cost for those living in the City. You just get into the habit and don’t realize just how much owning an extra car costs.

  14. Eugene_C October 17, 2013 2:36 pm at 2:36 pm

    Well, I’ve got the app on my phone, but I can’t see any cars in the area. What’s the launch date?

  15. Walker Evans
    Walker October 17, 2013 2:41 pm at 2:41 pm

    October 26 is launch day: http://www.columbusunderground.com/car2go-launches-in-columbus-on-october-26

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