Questions for Car2Go CEO Nick Cole

Car2Go Staging in SODO

Car2Go Staging in SODO. Photo by AtomicTaco.

Unless you’ve been out of town or hiding under a rock for the last month or so, you’ve almost certainly seen or heard of Car2Go, a new (to Seattle) car-sharing service that’s optimized for short, one-directional, spontaneous trips, with parking available in most of the city’s on-street parking stalls. While we mostly write about transit, car sharing, along with walking, biking, shuttles, taxis and ridesharing, is a component of a sustainable transportation system for a 21st-century city, especially for a not-particularly-dense young city like Seattle.

I was thus very pleased to hear about Car2Go’s arrival in Seattle, and even more pleased when the company offered me the opportunity to sit down with CEO Nick Cole, to discuss Car2Go’s vision for Seattle, and how Car2Go has worked alongside public transportation in other cities. STB readers are a generally very well informed and alternative transportation-minded bunch, and I’m sure you have a lots of good questions among you that I would not think of myself, so if you have ideas for questions, throw them out here in the comments, and I’ll take note of them.

In addition, feel free to discuss Seattle car sharing generally in this thread.




Comments

  1. I’m curious to know if Zipcar drivers are running to Car2Go. It seems that the combination of the one-way trip and Avis buying Zipcar would lead to mass exodus. I’d consider it, except that Car2Go doesn’t go farther south than Mt. Baker. (They do go to the city limits to the north, though.)

    • Bruce Nourish says:

      “They do go to the city limits to the north”

      Lots of generally-well-informed people erroneously believe this. In fact, car2go’s Seattle home area ends at 130th west of I-5, and a 125th east of I-5. Seattle’s city limit is 145th St.

    • Actually, they don’t. They go to 125th St. The City of Seattle has ended at 145th St. since about 1954. It was actually why i didn’t go with them because i’d be overpaying, and sure enough there seems to be a persistent cluster of car2go cars at 125th when i’m out and about.

    • Will Green says:

      I use both. If I just need to get from point A to B for an appointment quicker than transit can move me, I’ll use Car2Go. If I’m picking my girlfriend up from work in Redmond, going to dinner, and making a quick stop at IKEA on the way – I’m using Zipcar.

      The complement nicely, with the grey area between the two generally being decided by how long I plan to be out and if I want a larger, nicer car or not.

      Also, C2G doesn’t get to Mount Baker – not really. Beacon Hill station, yes, and a few blocks north of Mount Baker – but South Seattle is generally being left out of the car sharing revoluton.

    • Why would Avis’ purchase of ZipCar have anything but a favourable impact on Zipsters? The promise of that deal is more available ZipCars at peak recreational use times. Or did I miss a memo about Avis using slave labour during the war or similar?

      • BigDonLives says:

        [ot]

      • Nathanael says:

        General fear of mismanagement during mergers. You’re taking two top-down, central-planning, Soviet-style bureaucracies (remember, all large companies are top-down, central-planning, Soviet-style bureaucracies) and trying to MERGE them.

        This usually goes horribly wrong even when BOTH companies were well-run to start with. This is why Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway) does not do mergers. When he buys companies he keeps them intact and they operate independently.

        Maybe the merger will be well-managed. That is very unusual and if so it will be a testament to the competence of the central planners at Avis.

    • Car2Go may be good for a short trip where you just need to get somewhere quick, but anything longer and it is insanely expensive and then ZipCar makes sense. Really two different things altogether… and AVIS should help zipcar availability and such.

  2. How about: I know the boundary is South Seattle but would they think of making SeaTac Airport an island area? Would be a nice alternative to a taxi but unsure how parking would go.

    • That might be cool. I guess they would need to arrange something with the port.

      It might make south seattle angrier than they already are though.

    • They’re quite useful for the quick trip into downtown and Link from there for SeaTac trips. Much faster than a bus and way cheaper than a taxi from my North Seattle location.

      • Depending on the time of day, finding a parking downtown can be a big issue. When you have a plane to catch, you don’t want to waste time cruising around looking for parking.

        Extending the Car2Go service area to include the streets near the Ranier Valley Link stations could go along way to help with this. North Seattle residents drive to Columbia City to take Link to the airport. Then, someone in Charles’ neighborhood who just missed the 50 drives the car home. Then, the next day, the reverse happens.

      • Another big limitation in using Car2Go for airport trips is the size of the vehicle. One person with luggage or two people without luggage will fit ok, but 2 people with large luggage won’t fit.

      • 2 people with large luggage won’t fit.

        https://twitter.com/morganpage/status/272949066881712128

    • +1000
      I absolutely would’ve used this on my last trip to SeaTac. Too early in the morning to make a connection to Link for my flight out, and when I got home the last thing I wanted to do was sit on a train + bus for an hour when it only takes half that to drive it.

      I’ve been trying to think of problems with significant slack in one direction, e.g. too many pickups/not enough dropoffs (especially Sundays). But I think the balance of arrivals and departures during peak times would be significant enough to make this somewhat viable. But I’m no Business major and only have a little bit of experience working at the airport.

      • Airport trips would also be a great way to market Car2Go to the 85% of Seattlites who already own cars.

  3. How does everyone feel about Avis buying Zipcar? I feel like it’s probably going to be a disaster. They’ll start using crappy cars (ex. stuff like Aveos and Neons) and raise prices. Also, there will be less locations, and they’ll focus more on more profitable spaces like downtown locations.

    • That’s doubtful. Selling used cars is a huge source of profit for them. Neons and other crap don’t have much resale value so it doesn’t make much sense for them to buy them. Rental car companies only keep cars for a couple years, and often sell with the manufacturer’s warranty.

    • I think one of the most annoying problems with Zipcar is how frequently their $7/hr cars would be gone. I never need a luxury sedan and I think most people agree. Getting more cheap cars would be a good idea for Zipcar. OTOH having an option for the occasional truck/SUV is a big plus too.

    • Andrew Brick says:

      It all depends on what the guys at the top want to do. They’re poised well enough to make it a better service in a number of ways, to include possibly reducing costs, vice raising them, if they can scale the business nationwide. One should remember that you could weekend-rent a compact from the big boys for quite a bit less than the daily Zipcar rate. On the other hand, they’re also in a position to drive Zipcar into the ground, should they want to.

      • Doesn’t make a lot of sense. Zipcar was already a monopoly after buying FlexCar (RIP). Now with cross branding through their regular rental arm, they have no reason not to increase prices. What happens if they make their short-trip cars more pricey? More business for their daily rental arm.

      • Nathanael says:

        —>It all depends on what the guys at the top want to do.<—

        Yep. At the mercy of good old Soviet-style central planning. Who knows what will happen.

      • “One should remember that you could weekend-rent a compact from the big boys for quite a bit less than the daily Zipcar rate”

        That depends on a number of assumptions. That can be true if you get a relatively good deal and already have your own auto insurance and you actually need the car for the entire weekend.

        Also, Zipcar is much better than the conventional rental companies in terms of availablity. Being able to pick up a car at 8:00 on a Saturday night without notice, when all the regular rental car places are closed, is a huge convenience.

    • Will Green says:

      I use Zipcar a ton, and I’m definitely a bit weary. That said, Avis’ CEO has made comments to the effect that they don’t want to change much of anything, just make back office work more efficient, and are leaving Zipcar’s leadership in place.

      I sincerely hope that pans out as truth.

    • One of Zipcar’s main marketing strategies has been, “drive cool cars!”. So it seems unlikely that they’ll get rid of all the nice cars. Having said that, I think the excitement for car2go suggests that mobility is more important than luxury, so if Avis “downsizes” the Zipcar fleet, that would probably be a good thing overall.

      • If anything I think Zipcar could learn from Avis’s dual branding: Budget is the cheapo, I want a car that moves, Avis is the more upscale better customer service and cars end of the operation.

        Flexcar was definitely more of a Budget brand – help you move, but maybe not in style. Zipcar is all about helping you move in style. That being said I wonder if there is space for a Budget Zipcar?

      • The larger size of Zipcars provide a nice complementary service to Car2Go. For at least 90% of all trips, a Car2Go vehicle has plenty of space. But trips that require more space sometimes do come up and options to handle them are important.

    • It’s worth noting that, for the most part, crappy cars no longer exist in the US. The Aveo, Neon, and Cavalier have been discontinued and replaced by far better models on the low-end rental car spectrum.

  4. Breadbaker says:

    I’ve actually been out of town the last month, so this is all new to me. Are all the cars two-passenger maximum? That is one reason why I wouldn’t give up Zipcar for this. Sometimes you want to transport more people at once.

  5. Clarification on this 24 hour rule would be nice.
    https://twitter.com/car2goSeattle/status/284378077553913856

    • It’s for spots that say “no parking” on certain dates e.g., street cleaning or parade days. Basically, don’t leave it in a 2 hour spot that’ll become no parking the next day.

      • The way I read the tweet it would be OK to park in a “No parking 3-6PM” as long as you parked there before 3pm the previous day.

      • If it says “No Parking 3-6pm” you generally shouldn’t park there, unless you’re parking there on a weekend when that restriction isn’t in place. Otherwise, if you parked before 3 pm on a Tuesday, you’d be parking within 24 hours of the restriction!

        The idea is that if your parking the car there would probably result in ticketing or towing, you shouldn’t leave it there.

      • Adam Bejan Parast says:

        From my understanding you’re never allowed to park on a block that has a peak hour restriction. To me the tweet is referring to areas with construction notices or something like that.

  6. Seattleite says:

    Who drew the boundaries? Seems idiotic to stop a block from Mt. Baker Station.

    While I would like them to extend Southerward soon, not extending the boundary to go a couple blocks around MBS (this can be done, check out maps from other cities) tells me that the map drawer upers were either not from this area or don’t care about transit.

    • And we could use that empty mezzanine for parking spots! Pay ST for an electrical hookup and it could be a Car2GoEVrechargeArea (C2GEVRCA)!

  7. Matt the Engineer says:

    Car2Go: Clunky website, but awesome service.

    I tried it out last weekend for the first time, and loved it. The 2 wasn’t coming for another 15 minutes and I didn’t feel like waiting. I walked 2 blocks to the nearest Car2Go, was on the road in another 2 minutes, and home in 5. This would have cost me all of $3, except I still had my 30 free minutes.

    My one tip is to remember to tap in, tap out. You press a button on the console that makes it seem like you’ve finished returning the car but you haven’t really checked out until you tap your card from outside. A reminder phone call and a one time courtesy adjustment alerted me of this (next time they charge me for half the time it takes them to figure out I didn’t tap out, after that, it’s all on my dime).

    For those that don’t know, they’re offering free membership and $30 free driving by using the promo code SOUND.

    • buscommuter says:

      30 free MINUTES with promo code SOUND.

    • How long does the $30 driving credit last. I might be tempted to sign my parents up for a trip they have planned in July, even though they don’t live in the city.

      • David Seater says:

        I signed up in late December, about 12/22 I think, with the promo code. My account says I have 30 free “SEATTLE SOUND PROMOTIONAL MINUTES” that expire on 1/21, then another set of 30 “SOUND” minutes that expire 3/1. I don’t know which is which.

        And just to reiterate, the promo is 30 minutes, not $30.

  8. Gordon Werner says:

    For Bruce:
    From family in Europe I know that car2go was set up by Daimler to push their Smart Car in cities. However, recently, they have also begun to add 100% electric vehicles to their fleet (don’t know if they are a Daimler product). I know Seattle is interested in promoting/expanding EEV usage in the city. Is this something car2go is exploring with the city? Or perhaps something they might explore? (I realize that it would limit where you could park but working w/Seattle it might help expand the availability of EEV charging stations/infrastructure.)

  9. I want to know if there’s any chance of getting bike racks on the cars.

    I jumped at the free membership but still haven’t figured out how to use my promo minutes, because I pretty much always have my bike with me when I’m out & around. Drive/bike would make a lot of trips to far-flung parts of town faster and easier than a bus/bike or bus/drive combo.

    • I’ve been hoping someone would make a bike rack for your car that’s small and portable and you could have with you on your bike. I have this problem, too.

  10. chrismealy says:

    Where can you park them downtown?

  11. My question: Do staff move cars around, like from an area of low demand to high demand? If I leave one in Wedgwood it could sit there for weeks before someone decides to rent it or a staff member comes to move it back to an area that’s more ped/transit friendly.

    • +1, I’d love to know this as well.

    • Related question: Have you considered differential rates as an incentive for rebalancing? For example, you currently offer 20 minutes of free driving for anyone who refuels a car when the tank is less than 1/4 full. Have you considered doing the same for someone who picks up a car in a remote area, or who drives in the counter-peak direction (e.g. from the city to the suburbs in the morning)? Or have you found that cars seem to rebalance themselves adequately?

    • buscommuter says:

      The one I parked in Bryant was gone 3 days later. I suspect it was moved by staff. I agree, it would be interest to know if there is a rule, like if a car isn’t moved for x days we’ll send someone out to move it.

      In general I could see cars being left in remote suburbia of North Seattle becoming a bit of a problem pattern. For me personally there is definitely an imbalance, where I am very likely to use one to get home from Downtown, the U-district or Cap Hill. But the other way around not so much. Basically not having to wait for 30 minutes for the bus home, big improvement. Having to wait for 30 minutes at home, not such a big deal.

      • buscommuter says:

        then again, I have heard that in Ulm, the original test site, cars getting unevenly distributed was less of an issue than expected.

  12. Zach Shaner says:

    I’ve used Car2Go 3 times now, and I’m ecstatic with the service. Twice from First Hill to Madrona when the 3 was running 20 minutes late, and once from Madrona to Montlake to catch a 271 (the 48 was running 15 minutes late). Each of those trips cost less than $3!

    I see the service as a protective layer of redundancy or as a hedge against transit failures. Car2Go makes me significantly more likely to take transit somewhere like Ballard or Greenwood for an evening show, knowing I won’t have to endure either a $25 taxi or a 2-seat, hourlong bus ride home.

    I second other commenters in wishing that they’d allow Columbia City and Mt Baker Station, maybe in exchange for cutting Magnolia? :)

    I think Car2Go and Zipcar are complementary but distinct markets (though by optimizing short trips, Car2Go probably hits ZipCar where it hurts them most, their profitable 1 hour/$7-12 minimum). For planned trips or anything over an hour, ZipCar is better. But for ease of destination parking, one-way spontaneity, trips of 20 minutes or less, or for solving the last-mile problem, Car2Go is potentially revolutionary. In my dream world ubiquitous Car2Go availability would allow us to cut unproductive bus routes and invest even more in frequent trunk lines. Eventually any bus worth having would run every 10 minutes.

    • Adam Bejan Parast says:

      Totally agree with everything you have said. I think the biggest thing I’m waiting to see is how well distribution is when the full fleet is out. I’ve seen some pretty unbalanced situations, where for example there isn’t a single car west of Broadway on Capitol Hill, but between Broadway and 15th there was like 15 cars.

      I don’t know if this is because of parking or some kind of result of user demographics.

    • +1 to everything you said.

    • Southeasterner says:

      “I think Car2Go and Zipcar are complementary but distinct markets (though by optimizing short trips, Car2Go probably hits ZipCar where it hurts them most, their profitable 1 hour/$7-12 minimum). ”

      Is this the case? I would thik they would rather have a three hour $21 booking vs. a one hour $7 booking as many people will avoid booking Zipcars on ethier side of an existing booking, which lowers car utilization rates. Even if they managed to get three one hour bookings, what is the overall implications vs. a single three hour booking in terms of transaction processing costs?

      • One feature I like about Car2Go is the piece of mind of knowing that if you get delayed on your trip home, you only have to pay the face value of the additional time, rather than a 50 late fee. I realize you can get the same benefit with Zipcar by extending your reservation, but there’s no guarantee you will be able to do that. Plus, if your phone’s battery dies or you travel somewhere without cell phone reception, extending your reservation is not an option.

      • If you travel somewhere without cell phone reception, ending your ride in a Car2Go is not an option.

    • I think I disagree about the idea of car sharing replacing low-frequency transit.

      1. Don’t car shares and transit tend to succeed in the same sorts of areas and work complementarily? In places where people drive everywhere they don’t share cars, they own them (and often use them in ways that it doesn’t make sense to use a shared car).

      2. An important function of an extensive transit network is to provide mobility for people that can’t drive. That’s the young, the old, disabled people, and people that aren’t fit, for various reasons, to hold driver’s licenses. Jarrett Walker talks about this; a transit system may have performance goals for its core network and coverage goals for the wider network. If it were a business it would only have performance goals, but all the private transit companies are dead and we’re playing with tax money.

      • When car sharing is done using cars that are able to drive themselves autonomously, I believe both of these objections will go away.

      • @asdf: Why would the introduction of self-driving cars cause suburbanites to adopt car sharing in great numbers? Ultimately the self-driving technology will come down in price the way this sort of technology always does, leaving the cost structure of car operation pretty much unchanged.

        I don’t object to the idea of declining car ownership in places where transit doesn’t work today, but I’m skeptical that will happen without the other changes that make transit work. Instead it will continue to be used in inverse proportion to car ownership.

      • 1. As it stands now I’d have to drive or get a ride to the nearest reasonable ShareCar location and then do the same to get back home. A self driving car would show up in my driveway. Well, good luck with that. The UPS driver we know and he’s known the address for better than 10 years. FedEx, the pizza delivery dude, et al get hopelessly lost. It will be interesting to see the technology whereby a self driving car stops and asks for directions! It will have to be a woman’s voice ;-)

        2. If you can’t drive (too young, too old, too drunk) the self driving car does for you what the friendly Metro driver does… er, did since all the buses will be self driving too. I can’t wait for the automated ejection seats that deal with fare evaders :=

      • “… the self driving car does for you what the friendly Metro driver does… er, did since all the buses will be self driving too”

        I think you’d agree buses will be made driverless first. Labor costs will be a powerful incentive. It’ll start with portions of routes that will be automated first on dedicated ROW and then move outward from there.

      • Maybe I’m being a bit pessimistic, but I have a bad feeling that the bus driver’s union, under the guise of “safely” will make sure that bus systems switch to self-driving vehicles last – years after everyone’s personal cars are driving themselves, transit buses will still be driven by humans.

        However, if taxis switch the self-driving early on (which would seem a no-brainer unless the government bows to pressure from the lobbyists of taxi drivers and car dealers and prohibits it) it could be a game changer for people in suburban areas.

        For instance, I recently met someone who used to work in Shanghai. His daily commute was about 10 miles and the cost of doing it on a taxi was as little as $10. If people can take cabs for similar prices here, people will start doing the math and realizing that even replacing all car trips with taxi trips would still be considerably cheaper than owning a car, while being just as convenient. And people whose spouse already has a car or people that use public transit to get to work, at least a couple times a week would save even more.

        Obviously, only a small percentage of the suburbanite population will do this initially. But if it works, word will inevitably spread through word of mouth. All cars eventually wear out and when it comes time to shop for a new one, over time, more and more people will join the bandwagon of paying for rides an an automated taxi system instead.

  13. chrismealy says:

    There’s a bug where it tells you the password you’ve made up is invalid when it’s really not.

    • I think you’re probably running up against their “needs capital letters, needs numerals, can’t include the phrase ’2go’” arbitrary complications.

    • Rodney Rutherord says:

      I ran into the same problem. I had to fill out a completely new form, and then it let me submit it. (I noticed that the instructions imply that a capital letter is required, but typing a password without a capital letter when filling out the form does not trigger the pre-submit warning.)

      Also, I haven’t received the SMS verification code yet, and attempts to initiate a resend have failed.

      • Adam Bejan Parast says:

        I had the same problem too. You just need to call and they will fix it. Stupid issue to have.

  14. Zach Shaner says:

    My questions:
    (1. How will boundary changes be considered in the future? How will demand be tracked/analyzed? How would decisions about adding South Seattle or West Seattle be made?
    (2. Why are Woodland Park/UW campus/Discovery Park/Magnuson Park/Arboretum “stopover only” while even more remote places like Golden Gardens and Carkeek Park have no such restrictions?

    • They negotiated the right to park for extended periods of time in otherwise-regulated spots with the city, and not with any other entity.

      UW campus is essentially one gigantic private lot, and so parking a car2go there would be like parking it in any other private lot: stopover only.

      (I don’t know why their “home area” map appears to treat the area around The Ave as part of the “stopover only” zone. My guess is this is just a drawing error. Much of the street parking south of Campus Parkway is university maintained, but between 41st and 45th is city.)

      As for the park distinctions, I would again presume it has to do with who is managing the parking at each given location: the SPD, the Parks Department itself, or someone else. The Arboretum is actually a semi-UW facility, for example, while Golden Gardens appears to be the domain of normal SPD patrols.

    • +1 to when are you going to add West Seattle and South Seattle (specifically Columbia City).

  15. One thing I love about Uber is their eagerness to share data about their service. Do you have any plans to share similar data? I’d love to see maps of where the cars are going, what times of day are busiest, how long trips are, etc. Data!!!

  16. Another feature Zipcar has over traditional car rental, which may charge less for a weekend compact rental, is that they don’t care if you’re 25+ in age, and you don’t have to wait in line / talk to a person (during business hours!) to pick up the car.

    I also like that you don’t have to gas up the car unless it’s less than a quarter full, whereas for a rental, you would always top it off to avoid the exorbitant fueling charges.

    • I have a story where I once needed a car for a Sunday and saw an Enterprise special for $14.99 per day, so I figured I’d try it instead of Zipcar. Here’s the line-item bill once the taxes and fees were added on:

      Base rate: $15 per day * 2 days = $30 (they’re closed on Sunday, so I had to rent the car for 2 days even though I only needed it on one).

      Taxes and fees: $5
      Liability insurance: $15 per day * 2 days = $30 (I don’t own a car, so not doing this would mean driving with no insurance at all)

      Gas: $21

      Grand total: $86

      Guess what a 24-hour Zipcar reservation would have cost? You guessed it – almost exactly the same.

      • But: process for Zipcar = “pull out phone, find an available car, press ‘Yeah, book it!’, drive away.” Am supposing the process for Enterprise was a bit more involved?

      • The Sunday thing is pretty annoying. But if you’re willing to pay the airport fee ($15-20) they’re open 24/7.

        Some locations in urban areas are open Sundays. Like the Hertz across from the Convention Center.

      • Getting to the airport on public transit is an hour 15 minutes each way. There is no way in hell I would do this twice just to save 10 or 15 bucks. Add in the rental car shuttle and it would be more like an hour and a half.

        Zipcar is extremely convenient and if the price between a regular rental company and Zipcar is anywhere close, Zipcar will win. Even if Zipcar costs a little bit more, I’ll likely go with it anyway. When you only rent a car a few times a year, convenience is worth paying for.

        On the trip I talked about, the Enterprise ended up being a total bust. The line to pick up and return the car wasn’t bad, but it was still 20 minutes of time that would have been free for other things had I used Zipcar. It would have been ok if the 20 minutes actually saved a reasonable amount of money, but it didn’t.

    • Hertz regularly runs a promo where they waive the 21-25 fee. And you can sign up for their frequent renter program with no cost or minimum and you get a separate line at the busy locations.

  17. buscommuter says:

    Question: Are the car2gos in other countries available to US members? Vancouver, BC comes to mind, but personally Hamburg and Berlin would be interesting to me as well. Probably not, but that would be very cool.

    • As of December 2012, car2go accounts can be used across multiple cities in a user’s home country, but not across international borders.

    • I asked them this and they said that you have to register with the Canada office but there is no fee and no delay because your background has already been checked. I think the same card works.

  18. I would like to know what constitutes a “day”. As in you can rent a car for so many dollars per day. Is it a full 24 hours?

    • With Zipcar, a “day” means any 24-hour period. You pick the start and end time. If you need to start your trip at 4 in the morning, you can choose to start the 24-hours at 4 in the morning.

      With conventional car rentals, that generally applies too, except that the “day” can only start during hours in which the rental office is open. Outside of the airport, that generally means 7-6 Monday-Friday, 7-noon Saturday.

  19. John Bailo says:

    So the current hypocrisy is that cars are bad…unless they are part of a government sponsored program?

    • BigDonLives says:

      [ot]

    • Matt L (aka Angry Transit Nerd) says:

      What?

      Car2Go is run by a private company which actually pays the city fees for the parking accomodation. Quite the opposite from “government sponsored.”

      What we want is to enable people to live full, productive lives without the need to own and maintain a personal automobile, to avoid the need to give over primo real estate to storing those automobiles instead of more active uses, and to avoid the need to construct highways and wide, pedestrian-hostile streets to move those automobiles. Car-sharing services complement transit, bicycle infrastructure, taxi services and walkable communities in furthering this goal.

    • Car-sharing reduces per capita car ownership, which reduces cost, congestion, and environmental impacts, and is therefore good. Get it?

  20. So my question:
    Any plans to make the US site conform to US norms? There are all sorts of little things out of place that just scream “IMPORTED FROM EUROPE” and show a lack of respect for the local market. (e.g. Taxes are listed as VAT, and bunches of other little stuff.)

    Also, why are the screens in the cars soo damn bright? I’ve actually taped things up over them because I found it distracting while driving at night.

    Finally, why does every Car2go have two time zones in it? (The one on the in dash display, and the one right under the speedometer..)

  21. +1 on south Seattle!

  22. Two features on my wish list:

    1) I would like to see the option to pick up or return cars at Metro park-and-ride lots. Using Car2Go as a shuttle, with Sound Transit covering the long-distance portion of the trip, you can travel a long way pretty quickly and cheaply.

    2) I would like to see service expanded to at least a few pockets on the eastside. Downtown Bellevue, downtown Redmond, and the Microsoft campus would be very convenient locations.

    • I bet Car2Go doesn’t want to pay the tolls. And I’m guessing the drivers don’t either.

      • Obviously, the drivers would be the ones paying the tolls, not Car2Go. But at 38 cents per minute, plus tax, paying the toll on 520 is likely to be cheaper than detouring to I-90 almost any time of day.

        And toll, or no toll, it would sometimes be quite nice for cross-lake trips, particularly during times of day when the buses run very infrequently, if at all.

  23. OK, how about the real question. The opportunity for car sharing to work is greatest where car ownership is low. But most maps of car share locations in the US basically show where the yuppies are.

    • Ugh… stupid tablet typing. The question is, are the cars placed where they can really have the most benefit? And is this good business? It’s sort of inverse to rental vs. ownership trends in, say, housing.

  24. Matthew Johnson says:

    I realize it is too early for Seattle, but in other cities do they have demographic data on users?

    And when will they come to Columbia City?

  25. I’ve used car2go a couple of times in Seattle. Both times I was headed to 125th and Lake City. Although I was parked south of 124th the computer told me I couldn’t end my trip because I was out of the zone.Is car2go GPS really that inaccurate?

    My question for the CEO is:

    Has car2go discussed adding a fare meter, like taxi’s use? Or a trip timer? Or some notification of how long the trip was at the end of the trip?

  26. five toed sloth says:

    Not sure if you had your interview yet, Bruce, but in case you’re still reading, I’m wondering about the rules regarding neighborhood restrictions. My reading of the parking rules would allow me to drive down on a Husky game day and park right in front of some Montlake resident’s 2 million dollar house. Bonus, I can get wasted at the game and take the bus home.

    My question for Mr. Cole is, what is he going to say to half the City Council the day after the first home game?

    (I’m also wondering how car2go managed to screw up geolocation that badly. At least hand me a cookie so I go back to the Seattle page next time, guys.)

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