The thought never once occurred to me, not even when I was staying in San Francisco and parking was so burdensome that I just left my Beetle in the one good spot I could find the entire time I stayed in the city. Why own a car when you live in San Francisco, New York or other towns with amazing public transportation? Well, sometimes you need to buy pillows and taking them home on the bus is just an exercise in futility. Sometimes you have a last minute appointment and you need to be there NOW, not 45 minutes from now. Sometimes you need to actually LEAVE the city.
Those are all rare occurrences, though. What if you could share a car? These few companies are actually making that idea a reality:
I heard about this concept from Tara Hunt on her weblog, HorsePigCow:
She lives in San Francisco and she has been using Zipcar for awhile. She has a list of what she loves about them, but my favorite reason is here:
â€œItâ€™s a â€˜community sharedâ€™ car. This means when you join Zipcar, you are part of a community of people. I was walking down the street in NYC, chatting Zipcar up to my friend and a very stylish guy walked by us, turned around and said, â€˜You are right, honey, Zipcar is da bomb!â€™ winked at me and gave me a big grin. I was on the bus and mentioned Zipcar to my son and a couple smiled at me and said, â€˜We love Zipcar.â€™ People can connect through these things.â€
In cities like Salt Lake City, Utah, reliquishing my car would limit my life to five square miles. Our public transportation is merely adequate in the city and pathetic in the suburbs. I could get rid of my car, but my access would shrink to the area available to my bicycle. I wouldnâ€™t even be able to visit my mom without an hour-long bus ride (not including transfers). In larger cities where these car sharing services are available, however, it actually makes sense. I wonder if it will spread to the inner reaches of the country and if it does, how long it will takeâ€¦