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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zipcar and Car2Go

Posted by on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Sometimes I refer to myself as a transit nerd, but honestly, I don't come anywhere near the ZIP code of the obsessive public transportation wonks over at Seattle Transit Blog. I make a point of riding new routes on the first day of operation whenever I can, but they get down to a granular level that escapes me. They sometimes do math, and even graphs*! What I mean to say is, I can't communicate at their level, but I love to read their blog.

But sometimes their posts should be read by everyone who uses multiple transit options in the Seattle metro area. This post by Zach Shaner is an exhaustive pro/con list about Zipcar and Car2Go, including pricing analysis, availability, insurance costs, and much, much more. He finds that there are a lot of ways the two services complement each other. If you care about carsharing, you should go read the whole thing.

* Or are "graphs" just another "math" thing?

 

Comments (13) RSS

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1
i am so glad you posted this: i was wondering about these very things and had determined to look it all up...and viola! thankxxx paul!
Posted by Adrian Ryan on February 12, 2013 at 1:06 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 2

Petition to the White House, please help me by signing!

WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Build The Hydrogen Economy!

This nation needs a new energy infrastructure based on Hydrogen. Hydrogen storage and use augments the capture of green energy from solar, wind and tides. Cities can build fuel cell power plants running on hydrogen right in their densest cores. Fuel cell vehicles can travel hundreds of miles and their tailpipes leave only water vapor. Let us now allocate not thousands, but billions and billions of dollars towards jobs and technology in research, development, investment and infrastructure that complement the new commercial businesses creating product for the use, storage, and creation of Hydrogen.


https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petitio…

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on February 12, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
Fnarf 3
@2, "total signatures on this petition: 1".

Good luck with that.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 12, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this
icouldliveinhope 4
I have both! I use Car2Go wayyyy more often (it allows more of the owning-a-car conveniences, like "OH SHIT I AM LATE TO WORK"), but I keep Zipcar around for like, emergencies when I'm moving, Costco trips, etc.
Posted by icouldliveinhope on February 12, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
DOUG. 5
It's interesting he doesn't mention GPS glitchiness for Car2Go. I've only used the service four times, but two of those times the car wasn't parked where it was shown (and listed) to be. One time it was two blocks away and I happened to find it, the other time it was supposedly parked on the viaduct.

I'm wondering if anyone else has had this problem.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on February 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 6
Zipcar worked great for me in Vancouver. Cars all over town. Never very far from one. There are cars all over town in Los Angeles, too, but it doesn't work for me here. They're too far away. They're up in Hollywood or Union Station or LAX or any of the campuses, but to take transit to go get one and return it then take transit back...well. The whole purpose is lost. There are no quick trips. Easier just to use transit. My renewal comes up in March and I'm seriously debating renewing. I've only held on to it because I renew at 50% the regular price and someday I may go to a town where Zipcar is useful (Vancouver or even London). But now that they've been purchased by Avis? I wonder how long I'll get that legacy renewal rate. We'll see.
Posted by Bauhaus I on February 12, 2013 at 2:41 PM · Report this
Mittens Schrodinger 7
@5 (Doug). I have had roughly 15-20% of my trips have GPS glitchiness in the form of my trip not ending when I want it to because the car can't connect to the cell tower. It's a problem.
Posted by Mittens Schrodinger on February 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
8
I've been a Zipcarrer since Flexcar launched in Seattle. But I love the bare-bonesiness of the Smart cars Car2Go uses. (Of course Car2Go is owned by Mercedes, maker of the Smart cars, which since nobody's buying any, they bring us Car2Go - nice how that works...)

The shifting and brake pedal action are both straight outta any 1972 Super Beetle. Worst thing about them: no fucking ipod jack. If I'm going to drive I'm going to be singing along to my music, dammit.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 12, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 9
@8 just use your iPhone iCupHolder to attach it to the dashboard and plug the iSpeakerCup into the iCupHolder and set the sound level to 11.

Problem solved.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 12, 2013 at 4:51 PM · Report this
10
iWishyouweredead
Posted by gloomy gus on February 12, 2013 at 5:07 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@10, yup.

The real annoyance with Car2Go music is that the radio is preset to The Dick Sound of New Country or whatever that station is called, simply because it has the lowest dial number of all the presets (I assume there's some kind of payola to getting on that list). Two clicks gets you to KUOW, which is at least tolerable. But yeah, an AUX jack would be lovely.

I've had the failed trip-ending problem too.

But overall I think it's just fantastic. I just checked, and there's one car 200 meters away and three others within a KM. I think I'm going to get rid of my car (which I put less than 500 miles a year on).
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
12
Funny how they didn't include Seattle's 17.2% rental car tax in the numbers. Think about it a second: Looking at Car2Go, what kind of fool would pay $84.38 to rent a car for a whole five hours? Mind you, this is a car that, if you happen to crash it, would scrunch up so tight that your remains would have to be removed with a dental suction device.

It's a car that can only carry two people, and not much else given that it has only 7 cubic feet of cargo space, which isn't even enough for luggage. True, your gas is included: Up to 150 miles worth, which in a Smart car is 4 gallons, or $15 worth. That's if you use it all, which you probably won't.

I've heard these things be described as an alternative to a taxi, which I suppose could be true, as along as you were absolutely sure that you could find a Car2Go when you needed it and it was parked either close enough to your place or you didn't care about walking five or six blocks in the rain to go get it. So then you get in, and the thing is full of the detrius left by the last five drivers? For $84 a day, don't you think the rental car company should at least clean it out?

Why would the Seattle Transit Blog be such a p.r. agent for these companies, one of which is owned by Avis and the other of which is a joint venture of Mercedes and Europcar, the largest rental agency in Europe? They're still cars, the only difference being that someone else owns it and charges a buttload of money for it. So it's o.k. for the world's biggest corporations to own cars and rent them to us, but bad if we own a car ourselves and drive it?
Posted by Unbrainwashed on February 12, 2013 at 5:29 PM · Report this
13
I like these services but have only used Zipcar a few times, when I needed a specialty vejicle. They don't make economic sense unless you have no car or are very very car-lite...I walk, bike & bus a lot, drive a beater and put only 2K to 4K miles a year on my car, but it still makes sense to keep it.
Posted by ryanmm on February 13, 2013 at 7:52 AM · Report this

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