Live in Austin, Texas? If so , then maybe you have seen the new white and blue car2go Smart Cars zooming around in and around Downtown. Well now they are available for public use. Austin is the 4th largest city in Texas and is the only test city in the whole United States that got picked for this. Sign up now at http://www.car2go.com/austin/en/to get your FREE membership card (only for a limited time). Soon, they will be charging approximately $35 a card, so get yours now. All you then have to do is link it to a credit card for your usage payments. More information can be found on their online magazine http://www.car2read.com
The concept is simple. You need a car to get from point A to point B in Austin. Maybe yours is in the repair shop, maybe you don't even have a car. No sweat! 200 car2go cars are available in Austin, Texas. You can drive it anywhere within the Austin area, the catch is that you have to return it within the city limits to any public parking area, repeat, public parking area, so you can't park it in your driveway. Here's the map with the return areas highlighted in blue, http://www.car2go.com/austin/en/files/car2go_operating_area.pdf
Cost??? .35 cents a minute which includes gas, insurance, parking, maintenance, and mileage. Per Hour is $12.99 maximum. Per Day is $65.99 (based on 24 hour period) and if you go over 150 miles in one day, you will then be charged .45 cents per mile.
I have used it to personally to drive to Downtown Austin on a Saturday night for an event and then just left it there parked Downtown in a designated car2go parking spot and/or a city meter which is free parking for car2go members. This is an example of "closing" out my rental and making the car available to the next member. A one-way destination, where if the car was checked out by another member by the time I finished my event, then no problem, I could take a cab home instead(especially after a few cocktails).
Another time, I used a car2go that was parked near my condo in East Austin at the Livestrong building - to go pick up a client at his apartment - to go sign a new lease for his new rental at the other agent's Downtown office - and then back home (parked publicly curbside). This rental was not "closed out" until the end of my trip, so that no other member could use my car.
Once you get your membership card, you will understand the difference of a car available (blinking green) as opposed to one that is checked out (blinking red). It's a very roomy ride, even though it's a 2 seater, and it comes with a radio and built-in.
I was explaining it to my friend Leia while heading to lunch the other day and she asked, how does it work? In other words, how do they know it's you driving, keys, etc...and we filmed a short video. Enjoy! Also, would love your comments if you have used one or have any further questions.