Car2Go made good on their threat from a few months ago and announced a reduction to their service area (or as they call it, “home area”) yesterday. Here’s the new map (effective March 15):
And you can click here for more information about the new home area:
With large portions of North Minneapolis and, uh, most of Saint Paul now outside the Home Area, many Twin Cities residents will no longer have access to the car sharing service. Car2Go states that they reviewed usage data and people in these areas weren’t using the little blue and white cars enough to make serving those areas worth it from a business standpoint. Certainly, a density of available cars is critical to users being able to get the most out of the system. Ironically, I’ve used Car2Go a lot less since moving to North Minneapolis. Why? Because there weren’t enough cars close to my home. I can pick up a car downtown to drive home from work, but getting TO work in the morning, I might have to walk halfway to the office before getting one.
Should Car2Go have tried to encourage more users in these areas before cutting them off? Probably.
Are they obligated to serve these areas the way a public transportation agency is? Nope.
There is probably a larger conversation here about the role of a private, for-profit company in filling a gap in our region’s transportation system. Some of the areas cut out of the Home Area are lower-income neighborhoods that have seen a pattern of disinvestment in the past. Personally, I would think access to an on-demand/don’t-have-to-pay-to-insure-it personal vehicle would be really attractive to those trying to make ends meet.
How much outreach did Car2Go do to get people in these neighborhoods into their system? Clearly not enough.
In the meantime, Car2Go recognizes there will still be some demand for their service outside the Home Area. Enter the Car2Go “Station.” There’s not a lot of information yet on where these stations will be located, or how they will work, but Car2Go is soliciting input on where to put them.
Want to have access to a designated Car2Go parking areas near a destination outside the Home Area? Email Car2Go at: memberservicesNA@car2go.com and tell them where.
Think they should maybe do more outreach than posting an email address on their website? Tell them that too.
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