Why I changed my mind about car2go

It wasn't very long ago that I posted my decision not to join the new carshare in Calgary, car2go. Almost two months later and I just took my inaugural car2go trip. Because I so plainly stated that I had no plans to ever join car2go, and so quickly changed my tune, I thought I should mention the couple of key points that helped influence me.

car2go usage should not impact my Calgary Carshare usage
  • Circumstances when I would normally use Calgary Carshare are too expensive with car2go. When I use Calgary Carshare, it is for several hours. Since the car2go hourly and daily rates are higher than Calgary Carshare's, I wouldn't see myself switching for those trips.
  • car2go only has Smart cars, which are not useful for many types of trips. Often when we use Calgary Carshare, it is to rent the van, move large loads, or do very big grocery shopping trips. I wouldn't do any of these things in a Smart car.
  • On days where I know ahead of time that I need a car, I would rather use Calgary Carshare because I can book it well ahead of time. With car2go, you can't book very far in advance.
car2go makes it easier to use Calgary Carshare
  • It's a bit of a pain in the butt, especially in winter, to walk for 15 minutes up and down a hill to get to our nearest Calgary Carshare car. If there is a car2go car nearby, we can take it on a 2 minute drive, park it, and switch cars. I know other people who do this and it works pretty well for them, assuming there is a car2go car nearby.
  • Similarly, when we use the van in Sunnyside, it would normally have taken 45 minutes or more to get home. If a car is available, we could get home in 5.
car2go could be easier to find than a taxi
  • Ever been downtown or surrounding areas on a Friday or Saturday and tried to get a taxi home? It's not always easy.
Basically, this is how I feel about car2go:
  • I won't depend on it. You can never know ahead of time if there will be a car when you need one, so should always have a back-up plan. However, it could be very convenient on the spur of the moment.
  • It's not worth it if you're doing any sort of shopping. The hourly and daily rates are just too high. It makes much more sense to use Calgary Carshare. My 40 minute trial run to Co-op tonight cost $15. It is still more cost-effective to lump all my errands into one big day and get them done with a Calgary Carshare car.
  • It makes good sense if you just need to get from Point A to Point B, and both those points are in the Home Area.
  • Rather than a replacement for Calgary Carshare, it may end up being more of a supplement to taxis and transit.
That pretty much summarises what I'm thinking about the Carshare situation right now. Since today is my first day, I'm not sure how my experiences over the next few months could alter my opinion. At any rate, I'm pretty excited about it, and looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Any other Calgary Carshare members who have also joined car2go? What are your thoughts?


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