Car-sharing services help city dwellers
Car2Go hits the streets of Seattle this month.
I’ve had a car since I was 16 years old. From that sweet, little Corolla that survived me, my brother and my sister learning to drive a stick, to “Bianca,” my white bumper-sticker-laden Sentra that took me through college, to my grandmother’s Buick, which I inherited after she died, I’ve always felt like part of my identity was tied up in the car I drove.
But now I don’t have a car, and suddenly my identity is tied to my reliance on public transportation and car-sharing services.Admittedly, my husband has a car, so we can do the grocery shopping and go on weekend trips without having to worry about transportation. But now that we’re a one-car family, I rarely drive, which is just the way I like it.
Growing up in central Maine, there was no bus service beyond the four yellow school buses in my town. And even when I moved to the “big city” of Portland, Maine, people thought that buses were just what poor people took. They were dirty, never on time, and required exact change, which I never had. I rode them occasionally, but it certainly wasn’t something I relied on.
Now, I take the bus to work every day, and use the King County Metro service to get around to interviews and events. My company also has a membership with Zipcar, which I use when I have to get somewhere that would require multiple bus transfers and way more time than it’s worth.
Zipcar, however, is no longer the only car-sharing service in town. Car2Go is officially launching its competing service in Seattle with 330 cars on Saturday at an event at Etta’s restaurant on Western Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Austin, Texas-based company, which is owned by Daimler North America, announced Seattle would be its ninth North American city in December.
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