Car2Go on 1st Ave
Car2Go on 1st Ave

It’s been just over three months since car2go unleashed its army of rent-by-the-minute Smart Four-Twos on Seattle, and judging by the service’s rapid growth (fastest in the US, per car2go), my experience, and the experiences of others I know who use the service, car2go has already become a crucial component of car-free or car-lite living in the parts of the city it serves. This period of time, short for any new business model to catch on with the public, seems like the blink of an eye to those of us who deal regularly with public agencies, where minor and uncontroversial changes like schedule tweaks or bus stop relocations are ordeals of several months duration.

As I promised when I last sat down with CEO Nick Cole to relay the great questions you asked, I’ll be following up with another interview this week. The car2go team were impressed with our smart and well-informed commenters, so I’m turning it back over to you folks for another round of questions and comments. I’d particularly like to hear:

  • Success stories: Specifically, ways car2go has made living car-lite or car-free possible or easier; or has allowed you to sell (or seriously contemplate selling) a car. Bonus points if they’re things you’d never have thought of before signing up.
  • Useful, detailed criticism: How could car2go be better? While I’ve had no problems with the service, Jarrett Walker has repeatedly encountered an immobilizer firmware bug, and from people who’ve had to refueled a car2go, I’ve heard nothing good about that process; has anyone else experienced these? Are there times and places of chronic unavailability?

I’ve been moving apartments recently, using ZipCar SUVs and ZipVans. These models are hard to find on weekends, and often only available in faraway spots. Especially on Sundays, when most Metro services drop to 30-minute headways, getting across town in a timely fashion on buses is almost impossible, and I don’t feel like hitching my bike up for hours in an unfamiliar parking lot. So, while I never would have thought of this, I’ve used car2go on several occasions to access ZipCars, when the only viable alternative was a more expensive and less convenient cab ride.

The main improvement I’d like to see is one more small expansion of the home area a little further down to Othello in the Rainier Valley, and up north, covering Lake City to 145th St. These strike me as the last areas of the city to remain unserved despite having the level of mixed-use density needed to sustain car2go service. And I still dream of being able to tap in to a car2go with my phone, rather than having to carry another card.

The deadline for questions is tomorrow at noon. Feel free to discuss car sharing generally in this thread.

89 Replies to “More Questions for Car2Go CEO Nick Cole”

  1. Count me among the folks who’ve had problems refueling car2go cars.

    I used car2go for the first time on Friday…there was one parked right outside the restaurant I was at in Capitol Hill. Fuel level was 15%, and I was actually looking forward to earning some free minutes by refueling. Stopped to gas up in Wallingford en route to Ballard. Entered the vehicle ID and mileage exactly as it appeared on the in-dash computer, but the pump refused to authorize the card no matter how many times I tried. Went inside to talk to the clerk, and she tried to authorize at the register, but no luck. Last attempt was to call the 800 number on the back of the gas card and authorize over the phone…still no joy. At this point I gave up and drove home. Last I checked, the car was still parked in front of my place, with the card reader displaying “OUT OF SERVICE.”

    I called car2go customer service to let them know what had happened. After waiting on hold for about 10 minutes, the agent indicated that someone who had tried to refuel prior to me may have repeatedly entered the authorization info incorrectly, which may have de-authorized the gas card for a 24 hour period. Seems plausible to me, as most people are not used to having to enter this info when they buy gas.

    On the bright side, they did refund me the 15 minutes I wasted while trying to refuel.

    I still think car2go is great and can see myself using it again in the future, but these refueling issues need to get sorted out.

    1. +1 – I love testing stuff out and providing useful feedback to those who can fix it but Car2Go’s fueling system is horrid. The chip they’ve added to their cards (RFID?) makes it difficult to slide into credit card readers, some stations won’t accept the card, and the car almost universally refuses to recognize that you’ve replaced the card.

      Seriously, if you don’t have to fuel a Car2Go, don’t. Leave it for the masochists of the world…

      1. Add me to those who have had such a bad refueling experience as to think it not worth the barely $8 in credit you earn — half of which you are likely to squander getting to the gas station and going through the process, all of which happens on the clock.

        My car accepted the gas card as “returned” for the sake of restarting, and let me “end trip” from within at my destination. Only when I went to tap my car externally did it fail to properly recognize the gas card as present.

        A call to the national number was required to end the trip (and to disable the car, which employees presumably had to come reset in person). A follow-up to the local office was required to get my 20 minutes credited to me (with no bonus for the hassle).

        Like Velo says, it would be quite masochistic to make a regular habit of it.

      2. I’ll be number four. My refueling experience was a nightmarish ordeal that ended with the car refusing to end my trip (which I didn’t realize), and my getting a ~$100 bill from Car2Go. They refunded most of that charge after I wrote a terse email, thankfully, but it was a horrible experience. I’m a regular ZipCar user, and despite having a similar refueling system, it works 100 times better.

        Additionally, I’ve had issues with cars randomly loosing their ability to talk to the backoffice systems in the middle of trips, forcing me to call the customer support number (and I’ll note here the extreme frustration of having to effectively pay to call support, given that you’re paying by the minute while stuck in the car), and manually ending the trip by ‘hard locking’ the car. The fact that in both circumstances I had to fight to be reimbursed more than 20 minutes was just icing.

        Car2Go is a great service – when it works. When it doesn’t, it feels like a massive scam, almost.

      3. I had that issue once as well. It’s definitely a hardware problem; the car indicated to me that it had no cell reception, and clearly it did since the rep was able to lock it remotely.

      4. Has anyone ever driven a Car2Go to a remote trailhead that doesn’t have cell phone reception? If I try it, will I be able to depend on the car starting up for me when I return? (Obviously, this would be a stopover, as it would be outside the home area).

  2. I’ve used it twice, both times at night. The card reader is difficult to read in low light situations. It’s also unfortunate that you can’t tap and read the display at the same time (can you?). I guess I’m used to ORCA where the tap surface doesn’t block the display. I got worried when tapping on the Car2Go that I’d miss information.

    The only other complaint is regarding the performance of the car. Acceleration was a bit strange. It would jump out of a stop with just a slight push of the gas peddle, then completely lose acceleration after hitting about 25. It would feel like I had let completely up on the gas. I’m guessing this is an issue with the automatic transmission. Both vehicles I used had this issue. It took me a little while to get used to, and didn’t make me feel very safe even once I got the hang of it. I felt like I was constantly fighting with the car to maintain its speed or to accelerate smoothly.

    I would walk a few extra blocks for a manual transmission. :P

    1. Agree on the strange engine/transmission performance. The only way I could describe it would be “lurch-y”.

    2. It’s an automated manual that’s very badly executed. You get one lurch on starting from a stop, and another one on each shift when the car cuts the power, disengages the clutch, shifts, reengages the clutch, and gives you back power. If it feels like riding with an extra-clumsy stickshift driver, that’s because it basically is.

      The Smart fortwo would be a vastly, vastly better product with a plain old manual. But then only a few people would be able to drive it.

      1. The funny thing is that the car has a ‘manual’ mode, but without an actual clutch the car still has to do that for you, and it does it horribly.

      2. Yeah, I’ve driven lawnmowers with clutched transmissions that shift better than those in Smart Cars. I’d actually would consider the transmission in the cars unsafe, as the 1st to 2nd shift often happens when trying to accelerate to change lanes. In most cars with an automatic, you can press down on the accelerator to cancel the gear change, or quickly downshift, but it’s for nill in the Smart Cars. Best hope is to avoid merging, or to put on the blinker and hope it doesn’t shift. Of course, you could use the manual mode, but there’s no tachometer.

      3. As long as it gets me from point A to point B, I don’t really care about performance that much.

      4. It’s much better if you put it in manual mode so at least you can control when it shifts.

      5. Even with the dim-witted transmission, the Smart Fortwo is still a smoother riding experience than the low-speed jerking one always encounters in the Gillig high-floor diesel buses.

  3. As a college student who was saving my free minutes, why do they expire after 30 days?

    Also as a college student, why are free minutes earned in Seattle not useable in other cities like DC? Is each Car2Go city run seperately or as a country or worldwide unit?

    1. 1) To get you to use them quickly so you get to know the service. If you don’t use them, you might forget about them and are significantly less likely to be a paying customer in the future.
      2) To prevent people in Austin, San Diego, etc. for signing up and then getting free minutes to use there.

  4. I’d love my default radio station to be OFF. Car2Go is about getting from Point A to Point B quickly. I don’t want to pay $.39 per minute for an NPR “driveway moment”.

  5. If i’m a member of car2go in London, England why can’t i use car2go in seattle? would solve many problems and the cost of a rental car that would sit idle for ages every day while visiting relatives etc….

    1. I’ve hard from multiple reps that my US membership works in Canada as long as I contact the Canadian office ahead of time. I think they issue a Canada-specific card. There’s no charge for this.

      It might be a North American thing too.

      1. Huh. When I emailed to ask, I got a very different answer about using it in Canada. They told me I would have to go through the whole application process again, including emailing the Canadian office my US driving record. For added frustration, they said the system would reject any attempt that used the same email/phone as my existing account.

        Clarifying the actual requirements for being able to use Car2Go in Canada (if you already have a US membership) would be a great interview question. I’m sure there are lots of Seattle members who would like to be able to use Car2Go in Vancouver, just for example.

  6. They really need to work on either allowing phone use or somehow modifying their cards so they don’t interfer with ORCA cards. I had to start carrying around the card loose in my pocket and lost it one night. I called and got it suspended, but haven’t gotten a replacement b/c at first I was trying to find it and then later I just don’t want to go through the hassle just to lose it again. I’ll eventually get around to it, but they’ve lost a couple trips in the meantime.

    1. Wrap it in foil, or put some foil in your wallet between the two cards. Alternatively, put the two cards on different flaps of your wallet and only hold the relevant flap to the card reader.

      1. I just put them on different flaps of my wallet. It works all the time unless I mix up the sides.

    2. Modifying the cards so they don’t interfere with ORCA is impossible. They both use the same frequency, so either ORCA or Car2Go would have to change and reissue cards to everyone.

      As mentioned, wrap your lesser-used card in foil and wait for them to get their butts in gear and finally make NFC work.

  7. Oh and in high demand areas with limited parking (DT, Cap Hill) has C2G considered leasing a couple permanent spots?

    1. +1. Also, have a button on the screen for “find a reserved car2go parking spot”

    2. And consider replenishing those spots? It seems there’s never a car downtown when you need one. Especially late nights.

      1. I highly doubt $0.38 per mile is anywhere near high enough to support dedicated staff constantly moving cars around to optimize demand. Each car to be moved actually requires the labor of 2 people – one to move the car, one to drive him/her to the car. Paying 2 people for half an hour of work, plus gas, in order to get maybe $5-8 of revenue, simply does not make economic sense in an economy with first-world wages (although a scheme like this just might work in places with very cheap labor, such as India or China).

        Much more economically viable would be to simply offer a few minutes driving credit for anyone that returns a car downtown between 6 and 10 o’clock in the evening. Not enough to motivate people to make special trips downtown just to get the credit. But enough to push a few people who are on the fence and are going downtown in the evening anyway to choose Car2Go over the bus. Giving up the equivalent of a couple dollars on the inbound trip to get another $5-10 on an outbound trip that will likely follow very soon starts to look like a business plan that will actually make money.

      2. In general, though, any time you have a large flux of people going into the city in the morning and out of the city in the evening, it is mathematically impossible for a Car2Go-type system to accommodate more than a fraction of the total trips in and out of the city, or at least it’s impossible without a separate car and parking space for every commuter.

        As Jarret Walker would say, basic geometry dictates that in a downtown with limited road space and limited parking space, any system where everybody drives to work in a separate car will not scale. Car2Go is not and will never be a substitute for a real mass transit system.

  8. With the recent resurgence in the drinking and driving debate I have to wonder if this is a concern for Car2Go (or any car sharing program) and how they deal with it or try to deal with it.

    If you have any DUI’s on your record are you automatically rejected from the program?

    My concern was magnified on Saturday night when I heard two clearly intoxicated guys at a bar checking for the nearest Car2Go on their cell phone.

    1. This is my concern too. I’ve never had to deal with the drinking and driving debate—I’ve never simulatenouy owned a car and a drink. Now that car2go is an option, I can understand the allure of getting in the car after one or two beers. Especially after the hatchet job Metro did to late night Ballard service.

      I wonder how many DUIs can be laid at Metro’s feet?

    2. From the website. I had to hunt for this information. Car2Go should do a better job highlighting this.

      • Absolutely no alcohol (0.0 parts per thousand) and no drugs whatsoever while driving

      1. I have a feeling this wouldn’t stand up in court, as it doesn’t specify by what test BAC would be measured, and I don’t recall seeing any language where the user agrees to BAC testing in the event of an accident, or agrees to share results of a BAC test with Car2Go if one is arrested under suspicion of a DUI.

      2. You agreed to BAC testing when you got behind the wheel of a car. Car2Go could presumably just request the BAC from your arrest records. If you refuse a BAC test, your license is going to be suspended anyway.

        More generally, the C2G terms and conditions are a private contract between you and C2G. If they think you’re violating your end of the contract and terminate your membership in a way you consider wrong, your only redress is to sue them in civil court for compensation, and it’s entirely unclear to me what damages you could claim.

  9. Will Car2Go’s Seattle fleet ever include 4 passenger vehicles? I am a big fan of Car2Go and have used it on a number of occasions (primarily as a means to get to Beacon Hill Station to take Link to the airport). I would love Car2Go’s point-to-point service to be an option for my 3 person family. Thanks.

      1. Terms of service say that you can’t have more than two people in the vehicle, even though it’s not technically illegal.

  10. I would also add the southern part of West Seattle from Holden to Roxbury. Not only is there considerable amounts of multi-family on 35th and Westwood Village, but Westwood is now a major transit hub for the 120, 21, and Rapid Ride. ST’s 560 to the airport ends at Westwood too except for the peak.

  11. Two questions:

    First, I live in Belltown and find that, except during business hours M-F, it is difficult to find a Car2Go. It is not uncommon for the nearest car to be half a mile (or even a mile or more) away. Cars are reserved nearly as quickly as they become available, so demand is there. Is this something you plan to improve? How?

    Also, have you considered giving bonus minutes for people who park cars within some distance of a high-demand area (providing incentive to park cars where they are useful to others instead of in front of their home)?

    1. (With a follow-up: if you do not believe there is a low-density problem in downtown/Belltown, how do you determine this? The Car2Go app does not have a “I would get a car but 1 mile is too far away” button.)

      1. In general, how does Car2Go plan to address the challenges that Seattle poses by the large non-mixed use areas that have flood-and-drought usage patterns? Is there a channel by which users can contribute to improving usage by indicating demand?

    2. I have the same problem here on the “I-5 shore” of Capitol Hill. I’d drive car2go to work (Cascade/South Lake Union) every day, except that cars in the neighborhood are all gone before 7 AM. It seems to be a problem of the service being too popular.

      I wonder: Does car2go have staff members to move cars to more popular areas overnight?

      1. “I’d drive car2go to work every day…” My big concern with car2go is that this will happen. People will drive it downtown/SLU for work everyday instead of taking the bus/biking/walking or even driving their own car to avoid the parking.

        I’ve seen lots of anecdotal evidence that this is already happening.


        Fortunately for me, I work a normal job and bike/bus commute every day, so when I need a car2go is in the evening and usually between neighborhoods not including downtown. There always seems to be a vehicle nearby when I actually need them. But if I worked a swing shift and needed a car in my hood during the day I doubt one would be nearby as they all seem to end up downtown/SLU. Similarly, if I needed a car from downtown in the evening it would be tough as they are all out in the residential hoods.

        Obviously this is a natural problem when it is still seen (rightly or not) as easier to get downtown via SOV then transit. I just wonder if car2go could improve the situation with some sort of incentives/disincentives. Such as it costing more if you are ending your trip in the downtown core between 7am-10am or starting in the downtown core between 3pm-6pm M-F.

      2. This is actually fantastic if you work in downtown. I can count on having a car2go around for running errands in the middle of the day.

      3. A few weeks ago, I discovered that on a Saturday morning, Car2Go is absolutely, unquestionably the easiest way to get downtown. Bus-wise, I’ve got the 71/72/73 local (the express runs don’t start until 10:00), the half-hourly 66, or the half-hourly 510 and 511 (the 510 and 511 come back-to-back, so the combined frequency is still effectively only every half hour). Door to door, getting from home to downtown by bus takes about 45-50 minutes.

        Car2Go, by contrast, will get me downtown in under 20 minutes door-to-door (~12 minutes driving with traffic, 5 minutes walking to the car). I have consistently found very good availability of cars in my neighborhood around this time and parking downtown between 9 and 10 on a Saturday morning has not been a problem either. The cost of the trip is just over $5.00.

        Biking is another option (~25-30 minutes door-to-door). However, most of the time I am going downtown, downtown is not my actual destination, but a place to hop on a bus to the suburbs to go hiking, or a train to the airport to go flying. This means heavy stuff to carry and the fact that my bike (and my trailer) would have to be left downtown all day (or several days if I’m headed to the airport). The risk of my bike getting stolen makes Car2Go look like the cheaper option overall.

    3. SLU and downtown are complete Car2Go wastelands after work. I live in SLU and every evening you can see all the cars drive up to Capitol Hill for the night, meaning there are never any around when I want to use one.

      Looking at the Car2Go map right now there are only 2 cars on the west side of I-5 in the SLU/Belltown/Downtown area, while there are dozens in Capital Hill.

  12. Not really a question, but an observation:

    It seems to me that a fleet of electric Smarts, like car2go has in other cities, would solve or lessen three of the issues presented here: Difficulty in refueling, the lurchy-ness of the transmission, and dedicated parking spots.

  13. Ironically, that car is parked in what used to be a bus stop for the 15/18.

    It was notorious for having been, um, excessively used by Metro Supervisor van parking for their frequent breakfast meetings at A-Jay’s/CJ’s (a fine eating establishment, BTW!)

  14. OK, first off: I love Car2Go. Now that it’s finally in my neighborhood (just S of Columbia City), I expect it’ll make previously irritating bus trips (like shopping for groceries on a Sunday, when the 7 just doesn’t run that often) much more pleasant. The ubiquity and branding are amazing. And I’m fine with a little tetchiness on the acceleration—if I want a fun car to drive, I get a Zipcar Mini.

    But, but … their web site experience is HORRIBLE. It routinely defaults to Austin and doesn’t keep you logged in for a reasonable period. The navigation system, similarly, sucks: It always starts me off in California. And ditto the comments re: the immobilizer and the fact that it interferes with ORCA cards. Annoying.

    Overall: I’m hoping they can tweak these little irritations, but ultimately, it’s pretty thrilling to see the little white-and-turquoise cars everywhere.

    1. Ditto on the in-car navigation. I still can’t figure out how to enter an address into it. Also fun is how the cars still don’t know about the new boundaries. The car I drove a few hours ago (one of the new ones brought in for the expansion – it had 30 miles on it) had no idea as to the new boundaries, though it still let me end the trip, thankfully.

      1. I hate the in-car navigation so much. The UI is incredibly slow. I’m not even sure why they bothered putting in navigation that’s that bad. And while it’s nice that it doesn’t default to country anymore, I wish that it was possible to select stations manually. Also, telling me to move the car because it didn’t retry enough times to end the trip is annoying. I’ve had to start and turn off the car once or twice before to end trips.

    2. I totally agree with your comment, although I giggled at this:

      Sunday, when the 7 just doesn’t run that often

      The 7 runs every 15 minutes on Sunday, which is noticeably less than on other days (10 mins or better), but by the standards of Seattle, it’s still almost as good as it gets; most of the city drops to 30 minute service on Sundays, which is just pathetic.

      1. If 30 minute service on Sundays is pathetic, what does that make our service in most of West Seattle which doesn’t enjoy more than hourly service on Sunday? Many areas have no Sunday bus service within a mile or two (hilly) walk. At least we will be getting weekend service on the Water Taxi starting April 8th, if only there were a way to get to the Water Taxi other than the limited route covered by the shuttles. Maybe Car2Go is the answer now that we have it, if there is availability.

      2. ” if only there were a way to get to the Water Taxi other than the limited route covered by the shuttles”

        Walk or bike. If you’re far enough south that this becomes problematic, the C-line will likely get you downtown faster anyway.

    3. To date, I have never used the in-car navigation, in part because I am not willing to fiddle around and figure out how to use it on time that I am paying for by the minute.

    4. “It routinely defaults to Austin and doesn’t keep you logged in for a reasonable period.”

      Say it with me, Car2Go, “Cookies”. Yes, I know they are so late 1990’s, but they work…

      1. The problem is that the website defaults to Austin, then immediately prompts you to save a cookie making that your default. If you say no and then change the city it doesn’t prompt again. The way I got around it was to manually type the Seattle URL ( and then accept the cookie from that site.

  15. In the I’m-just-thinking-out-loud category, how about implementing a peak-hour peak-direction surcharge for trips over a certain length.

    I know multiple people who have replaced some or all of their morning bus commute with Car2Go (some of them even people who previously had relatively short, painless, one-seat Metro rides from Queen Anne), and looking at Car2Go’s site at various times of the day indicates there’s probably more than anecdotal evidence for this practice.

    Certainly some of car-sharing’s civic and environmental benefits are reduced when the vehicles are used to add to peak congestion instead of merely making a car-free or car-lite life more feasible by assisting with errands, socializing, and those random trips not well-served by transit. Maybe it’s worth mildly disincentivizing the practice and directing the additional revenue to multi-modal transit improvements.

    1. There already is a peak-period-peak direction surcharge and it’s called traffic. When you pay by the minute, the same trip suddenly costs a lot more when the roadways are congestion.

      For me, I can take a Car2Go downtown on a Saturday morning in 12 minutes for $5.38. On a weekday morning, however, that same trip would take 20-30 minutes at a cost of $9-13. While taking Car2Go downtown is wonderful on a weekend, the doubled cost and increased stress of trying to do it on a weekday means it’s just not worth it. Especially when I have a bus available that makes a wonderful direction connection between the I-5 express lanes and the downtown transit tunnel which bypasses nearly all of the traffic.

      1. I think you miss the point, asdf: whatever discourages you is not discouraging others, and the surcharge would not benefit Car2Go but the public as a whole.

      2. If you are going to impose a congestion charge on roads, it needs to be imposed on everyone – people who drive their own car don’t congest the roads any less than people who drive a shared car. It makes zero sense to say that Car2Go drivers have to pay the city a congestion charge for driving during peak hours, while the drivers of personally-owned vehicles do not.

        “whatever discourages you is not discouraging others”

        Every traffic situation is different. Some may be taking advantage of a day when the traffic report says traffic is unusually light. Or some might not be bothering to check the traffic report beforehand, like they should. However, I can say that if traffic congestion increases the drive time by 10 minutes, that’s the equivalent of a congestion charge that will be more than toll for the 520 bridge and the planned toll for the deep bore highway 99 tunnel. It is actually quite significant.

    2. I’d be more concerned about Uber, Taxis, and Ridesharing services which add to peak traffic loads as well as reverse commute “deadhead” trips. I have no idea how much people are using these services for commuting, but anecdotally, I see a hell of a lot more Lincoln Town Cars with Limo endorsements on them around town than I recall 5 years ago…

  16. A simple question: Why can’t I use my USA car2go card in Vancouver? What would it take to fix this?

  17. My Car2Go feature requests:

    1) Use a mobile to unlock the car – dispense with the need to member cards (*)

    2) Remember user’s personal settings and make the cars automatically adjust themselves when you step in. Example adjustable settings include the seat and mirror adjustments, radio station, and a list of preset destinations that you can select on the navigation system with one click.

    3) Please publish a map of downtown Seattle on the website detailing exactly which sides of which blocks of which streets contain parking which is compliant with the Car2Go parking rules. This would make it easier to take Car2Go downtown without searching for parking.

    4) Expand the home area to parts of Bellevue and Redmond. (This will likely require contracting with private parking lot operators, as many commercial destinations have zero street parking around them. Fortunately, oversized parking requirements mean lots of businesses have more parking spaces than they know what to do with, so leasing a few spaces from a few lots here and there shouldn’t be too difficult.) To be viable, it would also require equipping the cars with Good2Go passes and charging users only the face value of the tolls, same as Zipcar does).

    (*) If you are going to support mobile phones being used in place of member cards, you must have some sort of escape plan so that if your phone’s battery dies in the middle of your trip, you have some way to end it without accumulating a huge bill.

    1. The seats and mirrors are manually operated. There’s no way for the car to be able to remember your settings.

      1. Agreed – if they ever go to the eastside, downtown Kirkland would be a good place to serve. And, yes, if they were to ever serve the eastside, they would need to take the Zipcar approach on the 520 bridge tolls if they want to avoid deeply pissing people off.

  18. It would be nice if the invoicing system didn’t provide different line items for invoices and receipts. My employer is more than happy for me to pay for car2go for commuting, but I have to put each actual expense (receipt) as a line item. I’m still waiting for March to post before I expense the whole thing. Also, the recent rentals section of the site seems to have been broken for more than a week.

  19. Also, will car2go ever have some spaces at the airport? That would be fantastic for getting to/from there at weird times.

    1. Oh man, an airport Car2Go island would be amazing. I’d use it rather frequently for airport pick-ups and drop-offs, too.

  20. One suggestion for addressing the sparse availability problem: a program to incentivize members to move underused cars to underserved, but high demand areas.

    Example: a car that’s been sitting in one place for more than a day would be half price per hour (or free for up to N minutes) as long as you end your trip in a high demand area.

    1. Great idea – as of 0800 this morning there are 2 cars in the Admiral area of West Seattle, one that has been there about 60 hours and the other about 36. Get ’em moving!

  21. Eliminate Car2Go, I can’t even believe people are espousing this program in the first place. Why in the world is the blog even touting this as a good thing? Talk about shooting one self in the foot, say you support mass transit then instead have a piece on a rental car, a RENTAL car?

    Yuck, even those small cars have drivers in them that seem to think cyclists are a nuisance, not surprising since they are still in a car. A car is a car, and they sure kill even if it is small.

  22. I love the Car2Go service; love it. I’ve just recently hit a few bumps with it that have been a bit disheartening.

    As others have mentioned, downtown is a wasteland for cars between any sort of peak hours. I work down there and typically walk to work, but sometimes need to run an errand after work or carry a few items home. If I’m lucky, and keep my finger on the “reserve” trigger, I can leave work a bit early and book a car almost a mile away, but usually just end up out of luck. Capitol Hill, contrary to others’ experience from the look of it, is also pretty sparse most weekday evenings and weekends. It appears that all of the cars are being driven out Ballard and Magnolia way and left overnight (when visiting friends out there, I have absolutely no issues getting a car back home). There has to be some way to remedy this imbalance.

    Another issue I’ve had more than once is finding a car, reserving it, walking to it, and it just not being there. Very few things are more frustrating than walking a mile in the rain to grab a car you’ve reserved to run errands and just being left without. The last time this happened, I called customer service right away and was basically told “Oh- I don’t know where that car would be. Sorry!” That it happened once is frustrating, that it’s happened to me three times (only one of which I was compensated) is unacceptable and has curbed my use just a bit recently.

    Then there are a couple of little things such as the poorly-functioning website and the absolutely terrible iPhone app that never knows where I am or where cars actually are and consistently has trouble updating.

    Overall though, I love that the service exists here, and helps me live car-free in Seattle’s core. It’s just feeling lately like the service is not expanding as fast as it needs to to accommodate Seattle’s growing interest and use.

  23. I’ve had a few issues where my car says “a connection can’t be established, park somewhere else.” In places like capitol hill, sometimes I’ll spend an extra 5-10 minutes looking for a different spot.

    Am I charged for those extra minutes? And what sorts of things are being done to prevent that from happening?

  24. I can’t sign up with them until they do something about the deductable. I can’t risk $1000 every time I rent for a hour. That’s crazy. With Zipcar I pay $9 a month and it’s a risk free rental. Ask why they don’t have something like what Zipcar has. Otherwise I’d sign up.

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