I don’t know about where you are, but where I am, it’s officially winter.
That means snow and ice are making city cycling even more dangerous than before. Some of my friends talk about snow bike tires and learning to come out of a slide, but I’m a little too much of a wimp for all of that.
Instead of biking in the snow, I think I’ll start using my local car-sharing organization (CSO).
A few months ago, I joined eGo Carshare, which serves Denver and Boulder. I signed up for their monthly-fee-free “Peace of Mind” plan, through which I can rent a car for $4.50 -$6.50 an hour—depending on the model—plus $.30 per mile. Gas, insurance, and maintenance are all covered. To use the service, I just reserve a car online, go to one of the pick-up locations, use my keyfob to open the car, and drive away.
The first time doing something is always a little intimidating, but I think I’m going to try it out soon.
I really love the car-sharing concept. It’s a way to make car-free-living a little more comfortable without surrendering to owning—and insuring and maintaining and fretting over—your own vehicle. The fee is low enough to make it a viable option—say when it’s five below and snowing—but high enough to keep you from driving every day.
In this way, car-share programs seem to more accurately represent the true cost of driving.
CSOs are gaining popularity. Here are links to a few:
- car2go in Austin
- I-Go in Chicago
- HOURCAR in Minneapolis
- Mint in New York City
- PhillyCarShare in Philadelphia
- City CarShare in San Francisco
- WeCar in St. Louis
- Zipcar in more than 50 cities in North America and the United Kingdom
And there are a bunch more too!
The only thing I don’t understand is CSOs’ inclination to mash words together into little messes of hyphens and unorthodox capital letters. Do snappy, space-less names make people want to share more?
Seriously though, I think car-sharing is a viable and immediate solution to our car-driving illness.