Car2Go

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How my one car family is incorporating Car2Go into our lifestyle. {Sponsored post}

My family has made the decision to only have one car.  This is a decision I sometimes regret as I stand in the freezing cold waiting for a bus with my toddler, but ultimately I know this is the best thing for us financially.  Someday, maybe we will need two cars, but for now we’re experimenting with robust mix of transportation that includes: car, bus, max, bikes (in the summer) and Car2Go.

Car2Go front

Car2Go welcome screen

I’ve been using Car2Go since the month they started service here in Portland way back in the spring of 2012. I was childless back then, still sharing a car and working full-time.  So as soon as I heard about the service I signed up.   I used it when I missed the bus to work, to go to bars in the evening, and sometimes just because I was lazy.  Once I daringly used it to transport a crockpot of chili into downtown for a chili cookoff.  Miraculously not a drop was spilled!   But since having the baby,  I have not used it at all.  And a lot has changed with the company in the last year.

Car2Go Oui Presse

Car2Go KOIN tower

  1. Boundary Change: This is the biggest difference. They moved the boundaries in North Portland and East Portland.  No more usage west of Portsmouth or east of 60th.  This is a change for me because I live just past 60th so I have to park at the boundary and walk.  It is only a few blocks, but it does make it a little less convenient.  I understand why they did it though, keeping the cars circulating and in a higher concentration is good for the overall system.  (Update 10/14/16: The boundary has recently been expanded to 82nd Ave on the east side of town)
  2. Mobile Entry:  The app has improved a lot and you no longer need your card to enter a car.  No more fumbling through my bag and wallet to get the membership card out.  Just push the “Start Rental” button on your phone.  I liked this a lot since my phone is usually much more handy than my wallet.
  3. Bike Racks:  I have not used this yet, but many cars come equipped with bike racks, so if you get lazy (I’m sure this will be me this summer), you and your bike can take Car2Go home.

Now that I’m a Mom on the go, I was wondering about children in Car2Go, since there are only front seats. Here’s the deal: Front-facing carseats work just fine in Car2Go, but not rear-facing.  Since current standards are rear-facing seats until 24-months, this means no babies in Car2Go until they are 2 years old.  But you can use front-facing carseats in Car2Go vehicles and the airbag system will be deactivated.  Here is their policy on the matter:

The smart fortwo features highly efficient restraint systems that meet Mercedes-Benz’s passive safety standards. Infant or child restraint systems (booster, infant or child seat) can be affixed properly to the passenger seat by means of the safety belt. A ratchet mechanism locates the tightly pulled safety belt and holds the infant/child restraint system in position. An electronically controlled system will detect the weight of the occupant on the passenger seat or the installation of a child restraint system. The Electronic Control Unit (ECU) determines the appropriate mode of the dual stage, full-size front airbag deployment. For very young passengers, for whom an airbag deployment could mean a serious risk, the front and side airbags will be deactivated. A control lamp in the center of the roof panel will show this clearly. Always check the control lamp to make sure the airbags are deactivated for very young passengers. It should be glowing and say “passenger side airbag off.”

Good information.  Honestly, I don’t know if I’d use Car2Go with a child.  I’m not worried about safety, but being stuck with a carseat at your destination sounds like a real pain.  But under the right circumstances it could be fine.

Car2Go hood

After a year without using Car2Go, it was good to be reminded me of how awesome this service is. Not only is it nice to travel without worrying about parking (remember, street parking is free for Car2Go!), but it’s also so fun to drive the Smartcars!  They even have a number of electric vehicles, which I had never driven before using Car2Go. I had a great time running my errands around town in Car2Go this week and it’s going to continue to be a part of my transportation.  Happy travels!

{Car2Go provided me with free rides for a week in exchange for this post (but not my 2012 post) but all opinions are my own.}

Car2Go selfie

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