Late in 2008, a vehicle sharing program called Car2Go was launched on a test basis in the city of Ulm, Germany. After seeing how successful it was, other cities across the globe began planning to implement such a program. Now, Austin is becoming second large city to begin using the new kind of transportation being called "On Demand Mobility."
Car2Go Smart Fortwo
The principal behind the concept is very basic and easy to follow and adapt according to the needs of a particular city. In Austin's case, some 200 Smart Fortwo commuter vehicles were purchased and then distributed throughout the center of the city. After a one-time registration process for billing purposes, you are free to use any of the Car2Go vehicles around the city.
The real genius behind the program is that there is no need to make reservations. If you are planning on walking and something arises that requires you to get somewhere fast, just find a Car2Go vehicle not in use and drive away. You are able to make reservations by using the Car2Go reservation website, and it is recommended if you know you will need a vehicle and where you want to pick it up.
Another great feature of the Car2Go system is the billing process. Rather than charging by the number of miles you put on a vehicle, a driver will pay for how much time they log behind the wheel. If you only need a 10 block of time to run across town, you only pay for 10 minutes.
There are also no fees for parking in lots or on streets controlled by the city of Austin. All such charges are being waived thanks to an agreement that allows city officials to use the Car2Go fleet when traveling on official business.
The Austin Car2Go program is still in the process of being launched, but registration and usage is increasing every day. Assuming it becomes as popular as the Ulm Car2Go program, it won't be long until the original 200 Smart Fortwo fleet will need to be expanded.Car2Go