Living in San Francisco, biking almost everywhere I need to go, and having friends with cars that I can (usually) borrow, I haven’t had much need to join a car-sharing service. I’ve always admired what ZipCar, City Car Share and other car-sharing services do, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to see, first hand, how convenient it is to share cars.
Needing to run a few errands for work last week, I decided to sign up for Zipcar, and couldn’t say enough good things about the experience. With a wide selection of cars and locations, and with every detail of the experience thought through, I was able to get where I needed, when I needed, with little guilt and great satisfaction. I can’t speak personally to the experience with other companies, but I’d imagine that they’re all pretty comparable.
Zipcar has it’s limits, though, and I’m glad to see that other organizations are jumping on these opportunities. Organized carpooling (or ride-sharing), for example, is another great way to cut down on the number of cars on the road, and GoLoco (founded by Robin Chase, the founder of Zipcar), and Pickup Pal both offer this service. By matching drivers with potential passengers and facilitating cost-sharing between the two, there’s great potential for systems like this to help cut down the number of cars on the road. A similar, but much less organized system is already popular in San Francisco (Casual Carpool), showing that systems like this can really work. Can’t wait to try it!