For those who bemoan Calgary Transit for one reason or another, and for those who might only be fair weather cyclists, there is soon to be a new mode of transport in Calgary. In place in seven North American cities, Calgary will be the third Canadian city to Car2Go setting up shop.
In a nutshell, 200 Fortwo cars will be brought into the city under the program. The aim is for it to be a rare circumstance that a vehicle is not more than a five minute walk from your present location (if you’re in the “inner city” area–extending from 16th Ave in the north to Glenmore in the south, and Deerfoot to Sarcee. With a swipe card that you get after becoming a member, you’ll be able to “log in” to an unclaimed vehicle and drive it for as long as you wish.
The price of use is $0.35 per minute, or a daily rate of $65.99. This price includes gas, insurance, and often even includes parking. There is no shortage of details to learn about the service, which is why they are having an official how-do-you-do from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, July 21, at Holy Grill (827 10 Avenue SW). The benefits of showing up include a chance to learn about the service, test-drive the cars, get free membership (normally a $35 cost) and 30 minutes of driving credit, not to mention free brunch (while supplies last).
If you’re unable to make the how-do-you-do on Saturday, they’ll also be set up at the Sun & Salsa Festival in Kensington on Sunday. Making a little visit there will also net you a free registration with Car2Go and half-hour of driving.
It seems to be a pretty slick and well-thought-out program. I found a very interesting article on Autos.ca that gives a whole whack of details and user experience.
I’m thinking I may give it a try for a month. It would not be a stretch to say that I’m rather addicted to instant mobility. I drive a much shorter drive to work than I care to admit publicly, and I like to start getting where I’m going without any delay. But, if it’s true that a car is, on average, just a few short minutes away, perhaps it would make sense for even me. And truly, if it makes sense for me, it’ll make sense for a whole lot of us inner city dwellers.
UPDATE: If you’re unable to make it to either of their locations this weekend, you can also sign up online right now using the promo code “ONWARD”, which will get you the same free membership (normally $35) and 30 mins of free drive time.