Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Car2Go launching in DC

Car2Go is another car sharing company, active in some other markets, that is launching in DC later this month.

They use SmartCars (the ones produced by Mercedes). There is one big difference between Car2Go and traditional (i.e., Zipcar) car sharing and one medium difference.

The big difference is that you don't have to return the car to the exact same place you picked it up, you can leave it anywhere within the "home area" which is most of DC except for park areas, certain parts of the federal interest area, and military installations.

The medium difference is that you don't necessarily have to make a reservation, although you can make reservations for vehicles. You can also just go up to a car and check it out with your membership card.

The price is a bit higher than Zipcar.

The addition of new carsharing firms to DC has come with some controversy, as these companies outbid Zipcar to "take over" a number of on-street parking spots that Zipcar had by default because they were the only provider then. See the past blog entry, "Supporting car sharing vs. privileging car owners and the use of the public space."

And, I would argue that DC DOT, by looking at car sharing mostly as a revenue opportunity--they charge for spaces--rather than as a curbside management tool. In areas with minimal parking inventory and a lot of demand, access to carsharing supports upwards of 15 households per car, reducing car ownership and therefore the number of cars seeking a finite number of parking spaces.

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