If you were unable to make the first meeting, there’s another public forum, this time on Capitol Hill and at an hour more amenable to those working a 9-5. It’s tonight, May 6, at 6PM. Details via Capitol Hill Seattle:
Micro-housing development discussion
Monday, May 6, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Seattle First Baptist Church
Fellowship Hall, 1111 Harvard Ave. (map)
Seattle City Councilmembers and Council staff
Representatives from communities and neighborhoods
Representatives of micro-housing developers
Share your thoughts!
No video for you today.
With organizations like Seattle Transit Hikers out there, it may only have been a matter of time. The massive National Forest to the east is seeking ways to provide non-car access to its recreation areas, and they’re hearing from focus groups on Wednesday and Thursday. Here’s the flyer if you’re interested.
Much, much more after the jump.
Durham Station via Triangle Transit website
A few weeks ago in an interview with Publicola mayoral candidate Sen. Ed Murray expressed support for a proposal that periodically comes into fashion with some transit observers: just combine anything that is related to transit into one big super agency. No more different fare structures, schedule books, or rules, no more route duplication, the end to one agency starving while another rakes in money. Transit Utopia.
As Martin argued years ago, merging the transit agencies of our region would be a horrible idea. All of those points still stand, but number 5 more than any other. The political landscape of our region means that instead of more investments being made in the core area, such a reorganization would result in money being siphoned away from our productive core services to prop up unproductive geographic/political coverage ones. It would also result in years of added delay while we build a new agency that we don’t need instead of the transit network we do. That is not to say that all the critiques of our current situation aren’t valid, or that we are in the best of all possible transit worlds, but that a merger would in no way build us the transit system we all want.
Below the fold is an example of a third way, suggested as a starting point for more discussion.
Deception Pass – Wikimedia
Looking for a transit adventure this Saturday? The Seattle Transit Hikers are organizing a cheap, fun 8 AM — 6 PM loop around Whidbey Island, starting and ending in Seattle, and stopping at the pleasant and scenic Deception Pass State Park. Our own Zach Shaner wrote up a similar transit trip a couple of years ago, although note that his itinerary and direction are different (and might be out of date!). RSVP on the meetup page by 8 PM tonight.
The group has done some great-looking trips recently, and has more coming up. To name a few:
I sense a good deal of frustration out there with the news of potential cuts to Metro bus routes. We’ve covered the issue pretty extensively here on STB, but sometimes it’s useful to put it all together in FAQ form.
What is this about metro cutting routes next year?
King County Metro is facing a serious budget shortfall in 2014. This means that they’ll need to cut service by 17% to break even. 600,000 service hours will be cut. 65 routes would be deleted, and 86 would be reduced or revised. All in all, 2/3 of Metro routes would be affected.
Wait… didn’t we just do this two years ago?
Yep, but it was temporary. In 2011 King County passed a $20 “congestion reduction charge” on all vehicles registered in the county. This bought us $25 million a year as part of the deal that also ended the Ride Free Area, but it will expire in 2014.
How bad is it?
There’s a $60M gap in 2014, and a combined $1.2B between 2008, when the recession began, and 2015.
Ok, that’s bad. Can’t they just, you know… trim the fat?
Well, they have been. In 2008 they reduced operating expenses, gutted the capital fund (which pays for important stuff like running new trolleybus wire, etc.), and increased fares. That bought $30M. It also arguably made the system more efficient. Then in 2011, they passed the CRC and got the unions to take a pay cut, saving tens of millions more. WSDOT came through with $32M in mitigation money to deal with Viaduct headaches, but it also runs out in 2014… two years before the Viaduct opens. This mitigation money helps add additional trips to crowded West Seattle routes. Riding in from West Seattle will suck even more when it goes away. All told, Metro has cut $726M from the budget since 2009. There’s not much more fat. It’s pretty much all bone from here on out. Next step is to stop filling the tires on the buses (I’m kidding!). *
Oh, and “cutting the fat” ain’t so easy if you’ve ever been to a community meeting where cuts were proposed. People get angry, they call their Councilmembers, and Metro backs off. Everyone seems to think the fat is in some other neighborhood.
(All that aside, Seattle’s a growing city with a healthy economy and a low unemployment rate. Metro should be increasing service, not cutting it, as Metro’s General Manager Kevin Desmond argues here.)
What about raising money from the fare box?
They’ve done it multiple times. There’s only so much blood you can squeeze from a stone. Back in 2006, when peak fares were just $1.50, Metro predicted fares would rise just 75 cents by 2016. As it turns out, peak fares are already at $2.50 and will probably rise again soon.
Okay, how about all that money spent on light rail and streetcars?
Those were built by different agencies (Seattle DOT, Sound Transit) with different funding sources. Sound Transit has a diversified funding base, including a Motor Vehicle Excise Tax or MVET (it’s marked “RTA” — look for it when you renew your tabs… or don’t) along with a sales tax. That means Sound Transit can weather the recession a bit better. Also, Sound Transit spends a lot of its money on capital projects like new light rail lines, which (a) can be spread out over more years if necessary, and (b) tend to get cheaper when there’s a recession and construction firms are hungry for work.
Okay fine, but what about the “Transit Now” tax we passed in 2006?
That was great! It got us RapidRide and a bunch of other stuff. But because it was a sales tax, it shrunk during the recession and ended up raising less than projected. Since those funds were earmarked for RapidRide as the voters approved them, they can’t be moved into another bucket to save costs.
Wait a minute, this is craziness… Why are Metro’s finances in such bad shape to begin with?
Back in 1999, state voters approved Tim Eyman’s I-695, which would have gutted transit funding across the state by eliminating the state’s ability to charge an MVET. I-695 was declared unconstitutional, but then-Governor Locke and the legislature were so scared of being run out of Olympia that they killed the MVET themselves the following year. That blew a $500M hole in the state transportation budget. Here in King County, Metro lost an estimated $125M over the 2003-4 biennium, which we replaced by increasing the sales tax from 0.6% to 0.8% (and eventually to the legal maximum of 0.9% in 2006 with Transit Now). But there are two problems with a sales tax: it’s regressive, and it’s tied to the economy. Once the recession hit in 2008, everyone cut back on spending and sales tax revenues went in the toilet. It’s not just Metro: transit agencies all over the state, including the Washington State Ferries, haven’t really made up for the money they lost after
I-695 passed the MVET went away.
So what can we do about it?
Well, we can bring back MVET funding, at least here in King County. The thing about an MVET is that it’s progressive and predictable (versus a sales tax, which is regressive and volatile), since it’s based on the current value of all the cars in the county. This would get us back to a healthy mix of tax revenue so that no one source can send the budget into a tailspin. The legislature is in special session right now and one of the items on the agenda would allow King County voters to vote on an MVET that would fund 60% transit and 40% roads. That’s right: the legislature is debating whether or not to give King County permission to tax ourselves, after taking that right away from us 12 years ago. Bruce recently noted that a 1% MVET ($100 on cars worth $10,000) would be sufficient to meet Metro’s needs. It wouldn’t hurt to call your legislator in support of this initiative.
Why should drivers subsidize buses?
Like I said, 40% of the MVET fees would go to roads. But folks like myself who own a car and ride the bus would pay into it and benefit from it as well. Finally, it turns out that more transit options actually makes driving easier: by taking cars off the road, there’s less traffic for the cars that remain. A study conducted during Los Angeles’ 2003 transit strike found that traffic during the strike increased by 47 percent on roads where there was a transit alternative. Transit is a driver’s best friend.
*Update 5:50PM: As my colleague Matt Johnson recently wrote, roughly half the 17% in cuts would come from routes marked as having a “high potential for major reduction.” In the comments below, readers offer plenty of suggestions as to which routes should get the axe.
Route 16 “Detour”
If you’re one of the many bus riders who wants to travel to Wallingford from Belltown or Downtown, but doesn’t like travelling in circles on often-hopelessly-gridlocked streets, Metro has finally taken pity on you: on May 18th, Route 16 will switch from 5th Ave N to a direct route from 3rd Ave to Aurora, just like Route 5. Lane reductions on Aurora associated with SR-99 tunnel construction will likely screw up traffic for several years, but the agency has told me that a public process to make the Aurora alignment permanent will start before construction is complete.
Route 16′s horrifyingly awful outbound routing was the reason I started writing for STB, and I can’t wait to dance on its grave.
This is an open thread.
Next week on Monday May 6th, a second public meeting will be held to gather public feedback on micro-housing. Just five days from the event I have only now received official confirmation for the meeting.
Micro-housing is part of a larger set of solutions to increasing affordable housing options in Seattle and your voice of support needs to be heard. Micro-housing provides affordable market generated housing options in high opportunity neighborhoods close to high quality transit service. It lowers residents’ combined housing and transportation costs and provides a diverse housing choices in areas where they are most needed. Your voice will make a difference so please make time to attend and voice your support.
Meeting details below:
SEATTLE – City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen today confirmed that a second public meeting on micro-housing developments will be held. The meeting will be on May 6 at 6:00 p.m. at Seattle First Baptist Church on First Hill.
The first meeting was held in April in response to questions and concerns raised by residents of several Seattle neighborhoods where micro-housing units are being constructed.
The purpose of the second meeting is to hear from neighborhood representatives who will give their views and recommendations on the micro-housing projects. Representatives of the developers who build micro-housing projects will be present to describe the projects and the market for this housing alternative and their response to concerns they are hearing from the community.
In addition to Councilmember Rasmussen co-sponsors of the meeting include Councilmembers Nick Licata, Sally J. Clark and Richard Conlin.
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen stated: “A portion of the meeting will include an opportunity for the public to provide comments on what they have heard during the meeting and to provide recommendations on what, if any, regulations should be enacted for this unique type of housing.”
WHAT: Micro-housing development discussion
WHEN: Monday, May 6, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Seattle First Baptist Church, Fellowship Hall (downstairs), 1111 Harvard Ave. (on First Hill)
WHO: Seattle City Councilmembers and Council staff
Representatives from communities and neighborhoods
Representatives of micro-housing developers
“I want to see more affordable housing built in Seattle along with our residential neighborhoods accommodating housing options that contribute to their character,” stated Councilmember Nick Licata, chair of the Council’s Housing, Human Services, Health and Culture Committee. “I think both objectives can be accomplished and I look forward to this forum providing an opportunity to hear suggestions on how to fulfill both.”
“I’ve visited some of these micro-units,” said Council President Sally J. Clark. “They provide decent, often attractive housing for a range of people who don’t need or want a lot of space. They’re also appearing in greater numbers and more rapidly than some in the surrounding neighborhood want. This forum can provide a good airing of people’s support, concerns and ideas for appropriate regulation.”
“Micro-housing can be an affordable option for people wanting to live close to work or urban amenities,” said Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee. “They’re good for the environment and they can be good for neighborhoods too if we can find ways to preserve their affordability while ensuring that these developments reflect both the letter and the spirit of our land use laws. I look forward to working with stakeholders and the Executive to craft legislation to accomplish these goals.”
Final Broad Street Plan
The Seattle Department of Transportation has finalized its plan for a bus lane on Broad Street, a facility which will improve the speed and reliability of outbound trips on RapidRide D and Routes 1, 2, 13, 15X, 17X, 18X, 19, 24, and 33. We’ve written about this project several times (1, 2, 3) since its inception. In response to public feedback, including complaints about parking loss from adjacent retailers, a couple of components from were eliminated or reduced from the original plan: the bus lane will only be in effect from 7 AM to 7 PM (rather than at all times), and the eastbound bike lane originally proposed was eliminated.
One aspect of the plan has actually become more ambitious: both westbound and eastbound bus stops on Broad will be removed. In a previous post, I argued for this, as the stops in this segment are very close together, but in a response to my questions, Metro staff only agreed to consider removing the westbound stop. I’m not sure what changed Metro’s mind, but I’m certainly not going to complain. Both eastbound stops between Denny and 3rd will ultimately be replaced in favor of a single stop on Denny once SDOT completes the Denny trolleybus wire project. SDOT staff tell me that project just finished 90% design, and a public open house will be scheduled for June.
I’m little sad that the bus lane times were cut back, but congestion isn’t usually a problem on Broad St after 7 PM, so it seems like tolerable compromise. Similarly, the bike lane would have been nice, but the huge hill immediately west of 1st would have limited its patronage. One idea that occurred to me, which SDOT has promised to look in to, is extending the hours of the northbound bus lane and queue jump on 1st approaching Denny, just north of this map. Currently this only operates from 3-7 PM, but harmonizing its operation with the new lane on Broad St makes sense to me.
Smart Growth Seattle’s Roger Valdez (who has written quite a bit here) is going to be on a housing panel tomorrow night:
What’s missing from Seattle’s discussion about housing is the idea that people should have more choices about where they want to live in our city. That’s what Smart Growth Seattle is all about: increasing the supply of choices for where people live.
Our discussion about housing should be about increasing choices, from small, affordable apartments all the way to what we typically consider houses. In the end, what people want is a place to call “home,” whether they rent or own. This matters to everyone. When people oppose new places for people to live, they’re making it harder for everyone to find a way to be happy.
North District Council
May 1st, 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 PM
Lake City Library conference room
12501 28th Ave. NE
They started last year, and plan to have their system running in 2015. They’ll have 13 stations, 8 miles of travel, and expect 250,000 passengers per day at opening with a full capacity of over a million passengers per day. It will be a privately funded system, paying for itself with farebox recovery. Because of poor power reliability in Nigeria they’ll build two redundant generators at each station that needs power. They’ll have cameras and intercoms in each of the 300 cabins. The total cost of the system will be $500M, and fares will be between $1.28 and $1.92 per trip.
I’m not proposing we build such a large system here, and such a system would certainly cost more in Seattle than Lagos. But surely a line or two connecting our subway system to areas of potential ridership couldn’t be that bad an idea.
Infographic from Trico Capital
(via The Gondola Project)
The Pioneer Square transit mall we won’t get.
In 2016, when the Alaskan Way Viaduct is closed and demolition begins, King County Metro will lose its primary conduit into downtown Seattle from West Seattle and southwest King County. While all post-Viaduct pathways will be significantly slower and less reliable, the agency has to figure out the best replacement according to some combination of speed, reliability, access to the city center, and ease of operation. After eliminating options deemed unworkable, the choice basically boiled down to variations on two themes: a waterfront pathway, following the surface Alaskan Way to Colman dock, then up the hill to 3rd Ave via some combination of Marion and Columbia; and a Pioneer Square pathway on some combination of Main and Washington.
As announced on the Metro Future Blog last week, the agency is proposing a two-way configuration on Columbia Street. Beyond the announcement, Metro has quite a bit of information up about the decision. There are some easily-digestible nuggets also on Metro Future about the pathways not chosen and likewise in this fact sheet, and a report which comprehensively analyses the four final alternatives. To get right to the bottom line, skip to PDF pages 67-69 for a tabular summary of the results. As far as I can tell, the report seems thorough and well written, with reasonable conclusions.
I’ve said my piece on this already, but for posterity: the two-way Main St pathway, pictured above, would have provided by far the best intermodal connectivity and access to the south end of downtown, and been almost immune from ferry traffic congestion, all for the ongoing cost of about a minute in travel time inbound, and three minutes outbound. The pathway would have been significantly more expensive to implement — Main Street completely rebuilt with wider sidewalks, custom paving and bus shelters — but it could have become a beautiful and functional gateway to one of the few truly urban places in Seattle, and provided year-round activation to the often-forlorn Occidental Mall. By contrast, Columbia is nothing more than a pipe for cars.
Unfortunately, the people with the most to gain from a Pioneer Square alignment fought the hardest against it, and when I discussed the alternatives with Metro staff some months ago, it was made clear that whatever the technical merits of this pathway, well-connected anti-bus NIMBYs had foreclosed that possibility; a Columbia pathway was almost a foregone conclusion. The question now is whether Seattle will give Metro the transit priority treatments needed to get buses reliably through the mess at Colman Dock.
Link over the Duwamish – Photo by Mike Bjork/Flickr
On Wednesday May 1st, starting at 9:30am (if possible sign in at 8:30 to ensure a spot) the Seattle City Council’s Government Performance and Finance Committee will be taking public testimony on the Mayor’s supplemental budget, including study money for a new Ship Canal Crossing and the University District to South Lake Union transit corridor from the Transit Master Plan.
The Ship Canal Crossing study is key to putting solid numbers to the results of the City/Sound Transit Downtown to Ballard HCT study. Besides that, a new crossing is a needed project in its own right (see Bruce’s great outside the box proposal). The Council has previously stated its desire to start the Eastlake study this year but recently some members have started pulling back.
Both of these projects are needed. We have the money, the Council just needs to follow through on its prior commitments and allow the Mayor to fund them. The more shovel ready projects we have, the better able we are to compete when federal dollars come available.
Come out Wednesday and publicly show your support for moving transit in this city forward. If you can’t attend in person, be sure to submit your comments via email before May 1st. The Government Performance and Finance Committee is made up of Tim Burgess (chair), Nick Licata, Sally Clark and Mike O’Brien but it’s a good idea to cc the rest of the Council as well.
Funky new shuttle proposed for the Snoqualmie Valley.
Tomorrow afternoon, the King County Transportation, Environment and Economy Committee (TEEC) will host a fairly important public hearing on a whole bunch of proposed Metro service changes for Fall of this year and a few upcoming ones next year. While this isn’t going to be the palooza that preceded the massive Fall 2012 shakeup, there are some fairly significant countywide service proposals on the docket, including implementation of the E and F Lines, I-90 revisions, and the Snoqualmie Valley alternative service delivery project– Bruce has covered just about all of these.
Here’s the rough breakdown of routes that the TEEC will take public comment on:
- South King revisions:
- Convert the 155 to DART service
- Revise the routing of the 909 DART to better serve Renton Technical College and Renton Housing Authority
- Extend the 140 to serve the Landing, presumably to build up the market for the F Line
- Snoqualmie Valley alternative service delivery:
- Convert the 209 into a peak-only route
- Implement a new 208 between North Bend and Issaquah
- Shorten the 224 to operate only between Duvall and Redmond
- Implement a new Snoqualmie Intra-Valley shuttle
- Shorten the 311 to operate only between Seattle and Woodinville
- I-90 corridor improvements:
- Reroute the 210 to serve Eastgate P&R
- Delete the 211′s South Bellevue P&R deviation (wahoo!)
- Delete the 215′s Issaquah TC deviation
- Revise the 216 routing to serve Issaquah Highlands instead of North Issaquah
- Implement the F Line
- Delete the 140
- Delete the 110
The public hearing will be held tomorrow, April 30th from 4pm to 5pm at the King County Council Chambers. There will also be an open house preceding the hearing at 3:30pm, where you can get a detailed description of each proposed change. The TEEC will pass on its recommendations to the full county council, which is expected to vote on the changes in May.
Proposed Interbay Rezone
On Monday, April 29th, from 5-7 PM at Q Cafe, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development will hold a community open house to obtain feedback on their proposal to rezone a portion of Interbay:
For the past six months, city planners have been studying possibilities for the future of Interbay. Metro has introduced Rapid Ride frequent transit, and new apartments and offices are under construction in the area. Newcomers, ranging from small craft distiller Sound Spirits to large retailer Petco, have joined long-standing businesses like GM Nameplate and Keller Supply to become part of the business community. And more change is likely.
Some background: the public process for this rezone has been underway for some time, and of the original three concepts — an urban village, an industrial area, and a “local production district” — the choice appears to have been winnowed to down to some variation on the third. You’re probably wondering what a local production district is, so here’s the blurb from the DPD concept:
Industrial lands develop in ways that support growing opportunities for locally-produced, customized, specialized, small lot production. [...] Integrates retail and production uses. Small parcels accommodate independent businesses, and large parcel offers centralized management of campus-like environment.
What this translates to in policy is a rezone from Industrial General (IG), which is what most people would think of as industrial (e.g. much of SODO, the Ballard docks) to Industrial Commercial (IC). The best example of IC zoning that I know of is the area of Ballard just northwest of 15th & Leary, which hosts an eclectic and growing mix of microbreweries (which retail on-site), car mechanics, bike shops, bars and other businesses, all housed in a jumble of buildings of various vintage and quality. This is, I believe, what DPD is aiming for in the part of Interbay west of 15th Ave NW. One minor code change, to create a neighborhood retail area at Dravus & 14th, is also proposed.
Ship Canal Connector. Map from Our Interbay.
At this point, the urban village concept having been rejected, this rezone doesn’t seem to hold out the possibility of increasing housing availability in any meaningful way, rather it’s mostly about allowing more productive non-residential use of a swath of the city that’s well-served by transit, which seems like a good idea in as far as it goes.
One transportation investment in this area that strikes me as forehead-slappingly obvious, and would aid the success of the proposed local production district, is to connect the recently-built Ship Canal Trail to Thorndyke, via a short section of trail, on existing public right-of-way underneath the Emerson St ramp, as shown on the map at right. Today, the trail passes within a hundred yards of the proposed rezone area, but the only safe and sane way for a bicyclist to get into the area is by detouring more than a mile through Magnolia. Anything DPD could do to move this connection forward would be highly desirable.
The proposed changes seem unlikely to be controversial, but it’s always good to have pro-transit, pro-bike, pro-density comments so DPD’s public feedback isn’t all just whining about parking. If you can’t attend Monday’s meeting, take the online survey here. Finally, if you’re interested in Ballard zoning, a similar rezone process will begin in May for the 15th & Market area of Ballard, an area now dominated by very car-oriented development, so I’ll try to keep an eye out for that.
NE 6th Station
Yesterday the Sound Transit Board unanimously approved the Bellevue Council’s recommendation for cost savings, including numerous noise mitigation projects but a relatively poor site for the downtown station. I’ve said my piece on this subject, but here are some explanations from Board members with solid urbanist credentials:
Seattle Councilmember Richard Conlin: “Fundamentally it’s because this keeps the process moving without throwing it back into more confusion, and recognizes the good work that Claudia did in getting the $5 million for ped improvements, ensuring that ST will not be asked to pay for the HOV lane, and getting this to be required approval for the light rail line so that we do not have to fear further litigation or delay from Bellevue. Also, the ST ten minute walk statistics showed that the losses were minor for moving to the 6th avenue station and there was no measurable ridership loss.”
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn: “The design and cost savings were a compromise with Bellevue that moves the project forward.”
Bellevue Councilmember Claudia Balducci did not offer a comment in time for publication.
The Seattle Department of Transportation has proposed eliminating two small loading zones and a handful of parking spots in order to extend the very busy pair of bus zones in downtown Fremont to cover essentially their entire respective block faces, as shown on the map above. We’ve written at length before about the specific problems at these stops (along with some other transit problems on Leary between Fremont and Ballard) but the letter from Metro succinctly states the case:
The need for these revisions is driven by an increase in transit service and ridership in the area as well as interest in improving general traffic flow along the block. Since September 2012, transit service to these bus stops has increased from about 8 buses an hour to 15 buses per hour during the peak, greatly increasing the likelihood of concurrent bus arrivals at both northbound and southbound bus stops. Since two large buses can’t fully pull to the curb at either the northbound or southbound bus stops, buses often have to block a general purpose travel lane until the space is cleared. This causes delays to riders and to drivers that get stuck behind the waiting buses. Similarly, restricting parking along the block will allow buses to move through intersections without having to wait for vehicle queues from the traffic signal to clear.
Over 1000 riders use these bus stops each day; we believe these revisions will provide a great benefit to them as well as general purpose traffic.
If you’re someone who uses these stops and you want to comment on this proposed change, email your comment to Jonathan.Dong@seattle.gov by May 3rd. Absent supportive comments from riders, the public feedback might well just be grumbling about parking loss from adjacent businesses, so if this will benefit you, be sure to make your voice heard.
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I talked on the phone to Car2Go CEO Nick Cole a couple of weeks ago, to follow up on our last interview, and relay some of your questions; apologies for the delay in getting this published. I did ask if car2go could share heat maps, or some other graphic of Seattle’s demand, but they declined. They did, however, point out a video from South By Southwest showing car2go usage in Austin one weekend, which while not official, is apparently accurate.
Bruce: Everyone seems to agree the car2go refueling process is terrible for users. Do you plan to make any changes to it?
Nick: Refueling is a necessary evil, of course. Unlike competitors, car2go only requests (not requires) that drivers refill the car below a certain fuel level, so most users will be able to avoid it if they wish. Essentially, we crowdsource refueling: for example, there are apps [e.g. free2go] which show users cars that are eligible for the refueling bonus; this is much cheaper for us than paying someone to go out and refill cars. The current bonus seems to provide an adequate incentive to keep the cars fueled, so there are no plans to change it.
One common request is for the option to buy down the insurance deductible; $1,000 is more liability than many people would like to carry. For example, ZipCar allows users to do this on a monthly or per-trip basis. Are you guys planning to offer this?
Yes, this is something we want to offer. We are talking to our insurance company now, and we hope to offer something by the end of the year.
Another is for the ability to drive in other countries, e.g. I’d like to be able to drive in Vancouver or London with my Seattle membership. Is this something you could offer?
Again, this is another thing we want to offer, and we’re working with our legal team to make it happen. car2go is a global company, and we want car2go to be globally seamless. Keep in mind, though, It’s quite a lot of work: we have to solve more than just the US-Canada problem, we also have to solve Germany-UK, Canada-France, Austria-US, etc.
More after the jump. (more…)
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