Since car2go launched in Portland in 2012, it’s steadily grown its local fleet from 250 to 530 cars, the largest in the country for any single city and the largest in North America in cars per square mile of home area — 10.2.
Racks could help Portlanders get to far-away trails. (Photo: Car2go)
International car-sharing service Car2go has announced that Portland will be its testing ground for bike racks on their vehicles. In an email statement to Portland-area members, the company said the move comes after numerous requests from customers.
Here’s a snip from the announcement:
“Since our launch in Portland back in 2012, we’ve consistently heard one specific request from our valued members – installing bike racks. As bicycling is such an integral part of daily life here in Portland, it’s no surprise that we’ve been very eager to find a solution that incorporates bike racks onto our blue and white car2go vehicles, allowing our members, who love bicycling all the same, to combine the two transportation options in a simple, safe, and durable way.”
Designer Ryan Battle with his creation. (screenshot from Kickstarter.com)
An ultraportable $99 bike car rack designed to let people combine bike trips with Car2go’s floating carsharing service was unveiled Thursday afternoon on Kickstarter. It’s an undeniably neat idea.
The new product’s mastermind fails to mention an important fact in his enthusiastic video, though: his unauthorized product could get your Car2go account permanently suspended.
“If you put a rack on the car2go for any bike, you are violating the terms and conditions, and you are at risk for losing your membership,” Car2go spokeswoman Katie Stafford told us in a June phone interview about the forthcoming independent product, dubbed “Free2go” by its creator Ryan Battle.
Uber’s basic product, which it calls Uber Black, lets users book a nearby towncar using a smartphone, then electronically pay the driver and privately leave him or her a rating, without opening their wallets. In exchange, it costs about 30 percent more than a taxi, though fare-splitting is allowed.
But with this company, there’s a catch: as Uber’s employees will be the first to tell you, the basic service their company provides is currently illegal in Portland, due to the city’s complicated body of codes that regulate for-hire transportation. Those laws require taxis to accept any ride, however unprofitable. In exchange for that requirement, the city limits the supply of taxis and protects them from competition by requiring limos and towncars to book all rides at least 60 minutes in advance.