About two weeks ago, I suddenly started running into these white and blue Smarts all over town, one every couple of blocks. What’s that all about? Oh; it’s CAR2GO, another car sharing service, this one owned by Daimler AG. Unlike the other ones, these cars are just a block or two away from many folks who live in the older, close-in and downtown neighborhoods. The exact same neighborhoods that are chock full of CCs, because these folks don’t drive to work and such; they just need a car for the occasional errand or so, for which a CC is perfect. or a CAR2GO. Will these Smarts replace the need to keep an old 1970s Corolla wagon around?
I decided to cover some of the blocks between us and downtown, and shoot some of the 50 Smarts that have blown in like leaves from a tree. And I turned it into a bit of a challenge: to shoot a genuine CC with every Smart I found. So far, that was easy. And I suppose when the troublesome 4.1 finally gives in that Caddy, it might be handy to just reach for the CAR2GO.
After signing up as a member for some $35, one finds the nearest car via a phone app, web site, phone, or just looks for one. Holding up the membership card to the reader on the dash activates the car. Rates are $.41/minute, $14.99/hr, $84.99/day; depending how long one keeps it. There’s also a $.45/mile charge after the first 150 miles of a trip. I suppose it might be handy when the Jetta Mk2 won’t start.
It won’t be as roomy as the old Previa. Or as soft-riding and quiet as the Camry.
But you won’t have to worry about parking tickets, as the city of Eugene has exempted CAR2Go from any parking violations. So just drop it off anywhere, even in front of the church, as long as it’s within the service area. Mobility, without the headaches. And yes, there’s a CC back there across the street.
Maybe CAR2GO is strategically parking these cars near old cars that they think might likely break down shortly?
This last CAR2GO was parked without any CCs in sight. No problem, just wait a sec and there’s bound to be one coming down 13th Avenue. Yup.
Oh shoot; I missed an air-cooled Beetle. But there’s always more. I could stand on any corner in Eugene and just keep firing away. Or hop in a CAR2GO and find more CCs. Come to think of it, there’s been times we’ve gone on such long urban hikes we’d wished for a ride home. This opens up new possibilities. Is there enough room in the back for the dog?