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Car2Go Plans Expansion to Arlington, Alexandria

by Lark Turner

Car2Go Plans Expansion to Arlington, Alexandria: Figure 1

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.

See other articles related to: car2go arlington, car2go alexandria, car2go

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/car2go_sets_sights_on_virginia_expansion/8111

11 Comments

  1. Sarah said at 4:25 pm on Tuesday February 11, 2014:
    Selfishly, I live in Arlington and would love to see car2go expand over there. I regularly take Bikeshare back and forth, but a Smart car option from time to time would be incredible, particularly when it is 20 degrees out. And I am not alone. I have about 20 friends that want the same thing!
  1. Stacy said at 6:25 pm on Tuesday February 11, 2014:
    Every time I respond to a survey that Car2Go sends me (and they send me a lot!) I ask for expansions to Arlington and Bethesda/Silver Spring. This would be a great start.
  1. Car Free Diet said at 9:34 pm on Tuesday February 11, 2014:
    @Sarah: So why don't you and your friends sign up for ZipCar?
  1. Daniel said at 10:59 pm on Tuesday February 11, 2014:
    Because ZipCar and Car2Go serve different needs...? ZipCar is good for hourly rentals, with a definite return time/location. Car2Go is basically a super Bikeshare - take it and leave it wherever, and you don't have to worry about returning it to the original location within a specified time.
  1. jag said at 4:03 am on Wednesday February 12, 2014:
    Seems like common sense to expand to Arlington, Bethesda, and Silver Spring.
  1. tassojunior said at 4:03 pm on Wednesday February 12, 2014:
    Why not DCA as a start? It's not Arlington but federal and would be my #1 use.
  1. BTA said at 4:42 pm on Wednesday February 12, 2014:
    PLEASE. I need this so bad, I love being able to get around the city but whenever I want to go to Arlington or further I have to make complicated zipcar plans
  1. BTA said at 4:47 pm on Wednesday February 12, 2014:
    The great part about Car2Go is that the users will decide where they are needed. I say put down 10 at each Metro station (except for maybe Rosslyn, Pentagon) to start and watch how they circulate.
  1. Citizen said at 4:40 pm on Thursday February 13, 2014:
    This sounds like a good idea for Arlington. I hope the parties can reach an agreement that benefits both Arlington residents and the company. FYI - Arlington is a county, not a city.
  1. James said at 8:49 pm on Thursday February 13, 2014:
    I can generally get just about anywhere faster and easier using Bikeshare than I can using Car2Go, but if I become disabled, obese, or lazy, then I'm all for it.
  1. Payton Chung said at 10:43 pm on Friday February 14, 2014:
    Car2Go experimented with some ParkSpots outside DC last December, allowing users to park at Tanger National Harbor or Tysons Corner Center. In other cities, they have long-term agreements with destinations outside the footprint -- an airport parking lot in Austin, one garage in Miami Beach, streets outside San Diego State University. Maybe some could be piloted at certain pay lots in Arlington.

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