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Car2Go as a bike supplement

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Car2Go as a bike supplement

Old 06-14-14, 03:34 PM
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tjspiel
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Car2Go as a bike supplement

We had a "transit" day at the office a couple of weeks ago where people were introduced to our upcoming friendly alternate transportation competition. We're encouraging people to walk, bike, use the bus, train, etc rather than drive.

Along with people representing various transit options coming to speak and give out swag, "Car2go" was there to talk about their service as well.

They aren't quite the same as Zip or HourCar. Instead of being at specific locations, Car2go cars are parked all over the place and you use a smartphone app to find one nearby. There's no annual fee and you can often sign up for nothing as long as you have a promo code. Otherwise it's $35. They are designed for quick trips. You're charged 38 cents a minute but that includes everything, - parking, fuel, insurance, etc. That's right, you don't have to plug the meter when you park them. They also have hourly rates. You also don't have to park them at a particular place. When your trip is done, you just leave it.

I can see them working out pretty well for somebody who only needs a car once in while. They use "Smart Cars" which aren't particularly luxurious nor are they great driving machines. But they get from A to B and that's what they're there for.

My understanding is that they are in several European cities and about a half dozen in the US. I'm sure that number will grow. I signed up and I really don't know how much I'll use it, but there are days that I drive because I have some errands to run. With this kind of service I can still ride my bike, and use Car2Go to run my errands over lunch or to drive to an off-site meeting and back.


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Old 06-14-14, 05:21 PM
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What a refreshing idea!

I can only hope that this new and innovative idea takes off to much greater acceptance and widespread success. It can only help in the reduction of fossil fuel combustion within our environment. This is great news!

Thanks, TJ!
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Old 06-14-14, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
We had a "transit" day at the office a couple of weeks ago where people were introduced to our upcoming friendly alternate transportation competition. We're encouraging people to walk, bike, use the bus, train, etc rather than drive.

Along with people representing various transit options coming to speak and give out swag, "Car2go" was there to talk about their service as well.

They aren't quite the same as Zip or HourCar. Instead of being at specific locations, Car2go cars are parked all over the place and you use a smartphone app to find one nearby. There's no annual fee and you can often sign up for nothing as long as you have a promo code. Otherwise it's $35. They are designed for quick trips. You're charged 38 cents a minute but that includes everything, - parking, fuel, insurance, etc. That's right, you don't have to plug the meter when you park them. They also have hourly rates. You also don't have to park them at a particular place. When your trip is done, you just leave it.

I can see them working out pretty well for somebody who only needs a car once in while. They use "Smart Cars" which aren't particularly luxurious nor are they great driving machines. But they get from A to B and that's what they're there for.

My understanding is that they are in several European cities and about a half dozen in the US. I'm sure that number will grow. I signed up and I really don't know how much I'll use it, but there are days that I drive because I have some errands to run. With this kind of service I can still ride my bike, and use Car2Go to run my errands over lunch or to drive to an off-site meeting and back.

Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) has a system (BahnCard 100) that provides unlimited riding on any train with a discount on bike and car rental. The bikes are like the Car2Go, but the cars tend to be a little more centralised.

But, they're all accessible with the same BahnCard (RFID) and/or mobile phone, which is super cool.

Usually, I take a flight, then a train and a subway/bike!
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Old 06-15-14, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
They aren't quite the same as Zip or HourCar. Instead of being at specific locations, Car2go cars are parked all over the place and you use a smartphone app to find one nearby. There's no annual fee and you can often sign up for nothing as long as you have a promo code. Otherwise it's $35. They are designed for quick trips. You're charged 38 cents a minute but that includes everything, - parking, fuel, insurance, etc. That's right, you don't have to plug the meter when you park them. They also have hourly rates. You also don't have to park them at a particular place. When your trip is done, you just leave it.

I can see them working out pretty well for somebody who only needs a car once in while. They use "Smart Cars" which aren't particularly luxurious nor are they great driving machines. But they get from A to B and that's what they're there for.

My understanding is that they are in several European cities and about a half dozen in the US. I'm sure that number will grow. I signed up and I really don't know how much I'll use it, but there are days that I drive because I have some errands to run. With this kind of service I can still ride my bike, and use Car2Go to run my errands over lunch or to drive to an off-site meeting and back.

Nice of them to park in front the curb cut.... does the rate include the parking ticket?

The being able to leave the car somewhere other than you picked up would be a nice feature. It's kind of a pain to have to get the car share car back where it came from. 38 cents a minute is pricey, though, that's about three times what I pay for no-longer called IGo.

But a quick trip across town, leave the car, and take another (or someother form of transportation) back might be worth that.
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Old 06-15-14, 06:05 PM
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Seems like a neat idea that could help lots of people go car-free. The only criticism I have is that by using a Smart car you're not getting much more room than what you can carry on a cargo bike. One of the impediments to being car free is the need to transport larger items occasionally. It it worth owning a car just for that? I guess that depends a lot on circumstances that are different for each person.

I last filled my gas tank in May, my car is paid off, and my comprehensive insurance is affordable (and helps to cover me on the bike should I have an issue with an uninsured motorist) so I don't see a real need to rid myself of my car just yet. If I did a program like this would be a huge help.
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Old 06-15-14, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post



Nice of them to park in front the curb cut.... does the rate include the parking ticket?
My guess was that was mostly about the photo-op with the spoon and cherry.

Originally Posted by dscheidt View Post
The being able to leave the car somewhere other than you picked up would be a nice feature. It's kind of a pain to have to get the car share car back where it came from. 38 cents a minute is pricey, though, that's about three times what I pay for no-longer called IGo.

But a quick trip across town, leave the car, and take another (or someother form of transportation) back might be worth that.
I got 30 free minutes with a promo code but it adds up quick. I pulled over to mess with the navigation system and that chewed up a good chunk of my time. You definitely wouldn't want to get stuck in traffic. I think there is a max charge per hour that's not too awful though.

I don't know if they publish statistics on usage but I know the one I parked in front of my house was gone within a couple of hours. When I check the app the ones that are nearby tend to move around a lot.

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Old 06-15-14, 10:06 PM
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My question is, does the Smart have enough room to carry a bike? The way I can think of using the Car2Go service is to ride a bike to the nearest available car first. If the car can't accommodate my bike (even with the front wheel off), it would make the service less attractive to me.
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Old 06-15-14, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by puckett129 View Post
Seems like a neat idea that could help lots of people go car-free. The only criticism I have is that by using a Smart car you're not getting much more room than what you can carry on a cargo bike. One of the impediments to being car free is the need to transport larger items occasionally. It it worth owning a car just for that? I guess that depends a lot on circumstances that are different for each person.

I last filled my gas tank in May, my car is paid off, and my comprehensive insurance is affordable (and helps to cover me on the bike should I have an issue with an uninsured motorist) so I don't see a real need to rid myself of my car just yet. If I did a program like this would be a huge help.
Originally Posted by daihard View Post
My question is, does the Smart have enough room to carry a bike? The way I can think of using the Car2Go service is to ride a bike to the nearest available car first. If the car can't accommodate my bike (even with the front wheel off), it would make the service less attractive to me.
They're not very big. You're not going to fit a month's worth of groceries for even two people in it.

You're not going to get a standard bike in one either. A folding bike would probably fit in the back.

Smart cars don't get a lot of love in reviews. For about the same money you can get a car with comparable gas mileage, more room, and a better drivetrain. The Smart uses this goofy transmission that's sort of a manual transmission shifted by computer. It's not a true automatic and there's a noticeable lag while it shifts, - and the Car2go version doesn't provide the paddle shifters that make it more tolerable.

The two pluses are that you could fit two of them in a typical parking space and that their distinctive look makes them easy to find.

I also thought the reviews were a little overly harsh. It's got plenty of room for even two large people and aside from the transmission, it drives well enough. I took it on the freeway and it didn't have much trouble getting up to speed. I don't think I'd want to drive one in the mountains or on a really windy day though.
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Old 06-15-14, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
They're not very big. You're not going to fit a month's worth of groceries for even two people in it.

You're not going to get a standard bike in one either. A folding bike would probably fit in the back.

Smart cars don't get a lot of love in reviews. For about the same money you can get a car with comparable gas mileage, more room, and a better drivetrain. The Smart uses this goofy transmission that's sort of a manual transmission shifted by computer. It's not a true automatic and there's a noticeable lag while it shifts, - and the Car2go version doesn't provide the paddle shifters that make it more tolerable.
Thanks. That makes me wonder if Zipcar would be the better option of the two. We have Car2Go where I live, so it would be great if I am able to take advantage of it, but looks like it's not feasible to bike to the car location.
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Old 06-16-14, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by daihard View Post
Thanks. That makes me wonder if Zipcar would be the better option of the two. We have Car2Go where I live, so it would be great if I am able to take advantage of it, but looks like it's not feasible to bike to the car location.
If they were smart (hee hee) they would add a small, hitch mounted bike rack that would swing down to allow you to still access the trunk. Of course if your bike were heavy that might cause the car to tip over backwards.

Being able to bike to a car would make them that much more useful to more people because there's not always one right nearby unless you're downtown.
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Old 06-16-14, 09:58 AM
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Met a friend for a show a couple weeks ago. I biked, she drove. She parked in the wrong place and got towed. I took the wheels off my bike and got it into a car2go, but had to leave the back window open to accommodate. Got her back home just fine. It's not ideal for hauling a bike, but can be done in a pinch. They've been in Austin for a few years now, it's a good service when needed.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JJPistols View Post
Met a friend for a show a couple weeks ago. I biked, she drove. She parked in the wrong place and got towed. I took the wheels off my bike and got it into a car2go, but had to leave the back window open to accommodate. Got her back home just fine. It's not ideal for hauling a bike, but can be done in a pinch. They've been in Austin for a few years now, it's a good service when needed.
I guess the front passenger seat does fold down. So is that how you got the bike in?

Never mind, I guess it couldn't have been since you gave somebody a ride home. Maybe you could get a bike in there with the seat folded down.

I also figured out that you don't need the paddle shifters to use the transmission in manual mode. It shifts much better that way as long as you're adept at driving a stick, - it's almost the same minus the clutch pedal.

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Old 06-17-14, 02:40 PM
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Here is one option that someone is working on for bringing a bike on a smartcar. I'm sure the bike is not insured by Cars2Go while on the rack and likely against their terms of agreement.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-bike-a-ride-0

I have seen other kickstarters as well
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Old 06-17-14, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mulliganvi View Post
Here is one option that someone is working on for bringing a bike on a smartcar. I'm sure the bike is not insured by Cars2Go while on the rack and likely against their terms of agreement.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-bike-a-ride-0

I have seen other kickstarters as well
Those are awesome !

I think it would be a big win for Car2go if they were to provide them with the cars or send them to people that want them. They're small enough that keeping them in the cars wouldn't take up much room and would be there in a pinch if somebody needed one.
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Old 06-18-14, 04:46 AM
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Don't think you're going to attract a mate with that car. She's probably going to keep walking on by.
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Old 06-18-14, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Don't think you're going to attract a mate with that car. She's probably going to keep walking on by.
Would one have more success with a huge bike called "Big Dummy" or a tiny car called "Smart"? Could be an interesting social experiment.

Personally rather than trying to impress with a vehicle, I'll just stick to my charming personality... and to being hot.
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Old 06-18-14, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Don't think you're going to attract a mate with that car. She's probably going to keep walking on by.
... until you stop the car and take out your beautiful Colnago from the rear.
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