Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby mulad » December 15th, 2015, 8:38 am

Yeah, and that's not working out so well for Nice Ride, so I don't think this will help Car2Go all that much. The fact that this cuts out Highland Park is probably what irks me the most. And the fact that it cuts out both my old and new apartment locations.

Is there a map for the Minneapolis side? The two should be contiguous -- well, as contiguous as you can be with a river in the way.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby jw138 » December 15th, 2015, 9:28 am

That's unfortunate. I just signed up for Car2Go last month and am finding it highly useful for certain transportation needs. I live in somewhat of a dead zone in south Minneapolis (for Car2Go anyways) and would be upset if they contracted their service area and excluded me. I'm sure they don't like contractions either but they're a business decision and simply point to the need for greater density within city limits.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby EOst » December 15th, 2015, 9:36 am

Sure it's a coincidence that Car2go wants to pull out of every majority-minority neighborhood in St. Paul except the one adjacent to a major transit line.

This despite of the fact that many of those neighborhoods are equivalently dense and low-car as the ones they included.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby EOst » December 15th, 2015, 9:41 am

Spot the difference:

ImageImage

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby HuskyGrad » December 15th, 2015, 9:52 am

Andrew_F wrote:Check out the map of the proposed service area (last page): https://stpaul.legistar.com/View.ashx?M ... 5FCB9DFAF3

Yikes. That's a really drastic reduction. If a similar reduction were made in Minneapolis, I'm not sure we would really use our membership anymore, as just about everything in the reduced service area would have pretty good transit access.
It's rather surprising that there's nothing for Highland Park. But, hey they frees up parking right?

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby mattaudio » December 15th, 2015, 10:16 am

I'd be curious to see the number that matters: Car2go transactions per census tract.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby jw138 » December 15th, 2015, 11:33 am

mattaudio wrote:I'd be curious to see the number that matters: Car2go transactions per census tract.
Yeah, I find it hard to believe that it's anything other than this. Unfortunately, that kind of data at that granularity probably isn't made available to the public.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby jw138 » December 15th, 2015, 11:41 am

And yeah, I agree that density isn't the only thing at play. Certainly other factors influence the transaction rate per capita but at the end of the day it likely comes down to the simple issue of revenue within the service geographies.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby David Greene » December 15th, 2015, 12:09 pm

jw138 wrote:
mattaudio wrote:I'd be curious to see the number that matters: Car2go transactions per census tract.
Yeah, I find it hard to believe that it's anything other than this.
But that's how systemic racism happens. The impetus is almost never, "keep those people out!" It's always done for some other reason. But the effect is the same, even if unintended.

We have to do better at looking at these kinds of decisions with an equity lens. Chicago School free market capitalism should not influence every damn decision we make!

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby jw138 » December 15th, 2015, 1:01 pm

Car2Go doesn't operate in any of the outer affluent white suburbs either. Why? Because it would be a failed business model. The fleet would be spread way too thin and cars would sit idle for days on end. For a car sharing business to work, it has to operate within geographies that not only allow it to be an economic success, but where the external parameters exist to allow it to function as it's supposed to function to begin with. It's hard enough for a burgeoning new technology to gain acceptance, forcing it into a failed business model is a sure fire way to ensure that it never gains acceptance. They're reducing their coverage area because they're obviously struggling to remain in business. I see no reason why they wouldn't want to cover the entire metro area, if they could.

Now, I say all this assuming it's operating without subsidies. Is that indeed the case? If so, perhaps this is something that both cities might consider? If neighborhoods specified by the city fall below an agreed upon threshold of transactions per capita, a subsidy is paid to keep operations in place until that threshold is eventually reached. In addition to keeping service in those neighborhoods it might also help increase availability by allowing additional vehicles to be added to the fleet.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby amiller92 » December 15th, 2015, 1:12 pm

David Greene wrote:But that's how systemic racism happens. The impetus is almost never, "keep those people out!"
For quite some time, it was explicitly "keep those people out!" with respect to housing.
But the effect is the same, even if unintended.
Well, not exactly the same if it's the case that right now, with access to the service, people in those areas aren't using it. I'm not saying that makes it a non-issue, but its hard to say people are being deprived of something they would use if in fact they aren't.

Which, frankly, isn't that surprising because (1) these services are kind of expensive, and (2) if you can't afford a car you may not have a drivers license anyway.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby Sacrelicio » December 15th, 2015, 1:19 pm

EOst wrote:
VAStationDude wrote:In places the city has considerable regulatory obligations like business licensing, parking and utility franchising the city should make reasonable demands to ensure impoverished areas of the city have access to urban amenities. Not just for equity reasons but the health of the entire city. Re populating the North Side with people across the income spectrum is essential to the economic and social vitality of Minneapolis. Car sharing and affordable fiber optic internet service are services that enhance urban living in Minneapolis. North should receive those services too.
-1

Given how few levers the city actually has for increasing the desirability of neighborhoods and encouraging a healthy mix of income, none of them should be neglected simply because a for-profit corporation wants to make a little bit more profit. Letting a company restrict its service to just the Uptown orbit would only further entrench the socioeconomic divides of the city.
I agree with regards to fiber optic internet service, but I think Nice Ride and transit would do a better job with transportation, and the local governments can directly leverage those modes. Does the city have much say in where Car2Go "goes?"

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby EOst » December 15th, 2015, 1:54 pm

The problem with all of your "let the market decide" arguments: the closest analogue to Car2go is taxi service, which is required (by law!) to serve the entire city for all the reasons above.

As I said last time this came up, Car2go has never said that it is unprofitable for them to serve the neighborhoods they want to pull out of, or that they are unable to do so effectively. In the absence of that, we have to assume that they simply think that they would make *more* money if they focused on specific areas. That's a reasonable enough motivation, but there is no reason we have to allow them to operate that way, and taxi services are a great precedent for forbidding it.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby EOst » December 15th, 2015, 1:57 pm

Sacrelicio wrote:Does the city have much say in where Car2Go "goes?"
Car2go's business model depends on the city allowing its cars to be parked on public streets, so, yes.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby amiller92 » December 15th, 2015, 2:02 pm

EOst wrote:The problem with all of your "let the market decide" arguments: the closest analogue to Car2go is taxi service, which is required (by law!) to serve the entire city for all the reasons above.
I'm not sure that's the closest analog. Maybe Nice Ride? Traditional car rental is probably closer than taxi service.

But even so a taxi has the means to reposition itself after taking a trip to an area with less demand for its services in a way that car sharing doesn't. The law also does not require taxis to patrol for fares in areas where they are unlikely to find someone to pick up.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby EOst » December 15th, 2015, 2:06 pm

Nice Ride isn't a reasonable analogy because it has fixed stations. In fact, Nice Ride is much more similar to traditional car rental or to Car2go's semi-competitor, Hourcar than it is to Car2go. Car2go's location agnosticism is its entire business model.

There are many, many ways that Car2go could reposition its cars to suit demand, and they've always done a pretty good job of it from my experience.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby amiller92 » December 15th, 2015, 2:07 pm

EOst wrote:
Sacrelicio wrote:Does the city have much say in where Car2Go "goes?"
Car2go's business model depends on the city allowing its cars to be parked on public streets, so, yes.
When last we discussed, I was surprised to learn that Car2Go actually pays full parking rates for its cars, so I'm not sure what "allowing" is happening as they seem to be in the same position as any other parker other than in how they pay/are billed. Although I think that was Minneapolis. Maybe the deal is different across the river.

But that is one of the first things that came to mind when thinking about how to encourage a broader service area. If it costs Car2Go to park in some of those parts of the city, maybe they could be allowed to park for free and thus get a subsidy to offer broader service.

Trouble is you'd think in general they aren't paying to park in those areas already, as St. Paul likely does not charge for parking in those areas.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby EOst » December 15th, 2015, 2:12 pm

Car2go's agreement covers more than its ability to park in metered spaces. All city streets, whether metered or not, are public right of way regulated by the city.

You can see the agreement here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/228866896/Car ... nal#scribd

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby amiller92 » December 15th, 2015, 2:17 pm

EOst wrote:Nice Ride isn't a reasonable analogy because it has fixed stations.
Maybe Car2Go just has way, way more fixed stations (i.e., any legal parking spot)! ;)
In fact, Nice Ride is much more similar to traditional car rental or to Car2go's semi-competitor, Hourcar than it is to Car2go.
I don't think there is anything semi about competition between Car2Go and Hourcar or Zipcar (saw one of those the other day). And I think there are issues if you're telling Car2Go it must serve the whole city but not those companies. Sticking to fixed locations in higher demand parts of the city has exactly the same effect as what Car2Go is asking to do.
There are many, many ways that Car2go could reposition its cars to suit demand
I don't know about many, because until we get autonomous vehicles, someone is going to have to go and move them at a non-zero cost.

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Re: Car Sharing / Rental (Car2Go, HourCar, etc.)

Postby amiller92 » December 15th, 2015, 2:24 pm

EOst wrote:Car2go's agreement covers more than its ability to park in metered spaces. All city streets, whether metered or not, are public right of way regulated by the city.

You can see the agreement here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/228866896/Car ... nal#scribd
Thanks for the agreement. Without going back to look, I thought Car2Go paid actual parking rates in Minneapolis, but here it looks like they pay an annual rate per car, which the city can set based on actual usage. Wonder if that works out as a wash.

Otherwise, they get exemption from time limits greater than two hours and permission to park in permitted areas (because they pay for a blanket permit), which isn't much if anything in terms of subsidy.


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