car2go Provides More Transportation Options
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 02:09
The recent arrival of car2go in the Georgetown area provides yet another car-sharing option for students and residents.
The company’s distinctive blue-and-white Smart cars have steadily gained ground in D.C. since their launch in the city on March 24. They can be rented on an immediate basis.
Though car2go’s expansion into the neighborhood comes on the heels of Georgetown’s recent agreement with Zipcar, another car sharing business, car2go officials expressed confidence about their ability to tap into the student market.
car2go vehicles can be used for any amount of time and, after a one-time membership fee, users are charged only for the time they use the car. In addition, the cars may be picked up and dropped off anywhere within the designated “home area” upon ending the rental. Unlike Zipcar, car2go has no monthly fees or security deposits, whereas Zipcar has either a monthly commitment or annual fee, depending on which driving plan is selected.
According to a statement from car2go, full-time college students between the ages of 18 and 20 are eligible for membership. Zipcar has not offered membership to Georgetown students who are under 21, but rental privileges may soon be extended to 18-year-olds, pending negotiations between the university and the company.
In addition, car2go is offering discounts to attract new student users.
“We are currently waiving the initial registration [of] $35 for college students, plus [adding] 30 minutes of free drive time,” the statement said.
Katie Farrell (COL ’16) has never used the car2go system before but expressed enthusiasm about the benefits it could present for college-age students.
“I would love to use it to visit my friends at other universities that are off the Metro line but still nearby,” she said. “And I like that they are energy efficient.”
However, Kaitlin Carano (COL ’13), who has used competitor Zipcar for a variety of purposes, expressed doubt about the usefulness of car2go.
“The [lack of] reservations and [ability to] return it anywhere are kind of nice, but I do know that the size is kind of an issue for me,” she said. “You can barely fit your groceries in a Smart car so I think it could be used as a quick way to get somewhere, but I probably won’t use it as often.”
While Zipcar offers a wider variety of vehicles for rent, including luxury cars, hybrid vehicles and pickup trucks, users are required to make a reservation, and the cars must be returned to the parking spot where they were obtained. Five Zipcar parking spots are located on Georgetown’s campus outside of McDonough Arena.