I’ve written before about using Car2Go in Seattle, a fleet of Smart Fourtwo cars that I use for one-way trips when I don’t know how long I’ll need to be at my destination or have other plans to get home. Yes, even though I own a car I still rent on occasion for the convenience (especially free parking). Car2Go now has additional competition in Seattle from a company called ReachNow, which is owned by BMW and uses a fleet of MINI Coopers, BMW 3 series, and BMW i3 sedans. It’s much more comfortable and competitively priced at 41 cents a minute.
But when it comes to reaching the airport from my home, I still use UberX. It’s cheaper than paying for airport parking, and Car2Go doesn’t let me take the car that far. But ReachNow just announced a new plan with the WallyPark Garage at Sea-Tac to let drivers pick up or drop off a car for a $5 additional fee. (HT to Seattle Times)
Altogether, 41 cents-per-minute and a $5 fee would cost me about $17 to make the 30-minute drive from Green Lake when there’s no traffic. That’s about half the price of UberX and comparable to one day of parking my own car. It’s a great idea and seems very inexpensive. The Seattle Times reports that they should have 30 reserved spaces in the garage.
WallyPark is my favorite garage at Seattle. It’s often busy, so I don’t think this is good news for capacity when the rest of us continue to drive our own cars. But more exciting is the idea of offering more options for travelers who are visiting Seattle, not leaving it.
Consider Austin, where Uber and Lyft recently decided to halt service, leaving the city dependent on a woefully understaffed taxi fleet. They have Car2Go, too, and the airport is even closer to downtown. Imagine if travelers could take a Car2Go (or ReachNow, if it expands) to and from the airport without paying the high price of a taxi or renting a car for the entire weekend. It could even cut down on local car ownership since it would make this service more appealing for more than just local trips within town. That sounds like a win for everyone.