DC customers of car2go can pop into the now-familiar two-toned Smart Fortwos and drive wherever — so long as they park back in the District when they’re done.
But that’s occasionally been a problem in the city, where car2go first began operating in March 2012. The service’s point-to-point, one-way convenience means connections to shopping centers and residences across the river, especially in Virginia, have hamstrung users who want to drive over to Arlington or Alexandria on a one-way trip. Now the service is lobbying, primarily in Arlington, to change that.
“The sheer number of trips between Arlington, Alexandria and DC really lends itself to expansion,” said Josh Moskowitz, who’s in charge of business development for car2go in the eastern region of the U.S. The service is owned by Daimler, the car company that owns Smart, and is up and running in 25 cities internationally.
As part of car2go’s DC-based effort to expand to northern Virginia, they’ve launched a marketing campaign urging users to engage on Twitter, Facebook and over email to express their support for the expansion. But the support car2go really needs is that of Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services.
Negotiations with car2go cities typically involve agreements regarding parking meters and permits — both of which Arlington and Alexandria have in abundance. One of the draws of using car2go is avoiding such fees and inconveniences, and the company has paid highly for the privilege of bypassing such restrictions in the past. In DC, the parking meter provision came to $578,000 paid out to the city in its first year alone.
Which explains why Moskowitz’s team is wooing the city of Arlington — and asking for support from DC-based users. Proving demand for the expansion via social networking and emails could help the cause. Of course, these tactics will only go so far, and Moskowitz said he has been satisfied with how the negotiations are going so far with the city.
The company can also prove its worth via hard numbers — the service had 26,000 members in DC by last summer. As a result, it added 100 cars to its fleet, bringing the total up to 400. Now it’s expanding again, with 20 more cars recently added. By the time the expansion is complete, Moskowitz said that there will be more than 450 cars tooling around the city.
This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/car2go_sets_sights_on_virginia_expansion/8111
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