car2go expands carsharing service in North America
car2go N.A., a one-way carsharing service, reported an increase in use of its service during the first six months of 2017. Usage of the service increased by 40% in the first half of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016 across all 11 of the service's North American locations, with more than 4.5 million trips taken so far this year. In addition, members of car2go have spent 33% more time traveling in car2gos in the first half of 2017 vs. the first half of 2016. The company says that these are indicators of one-way carshare gaining popularity as a convenient, affordable way to travel over varying distances. Saying that its service is “a flexible and ‘on demand’ mode of transportation,” car2go is intended to complement existing public transportation by bridging the gaps between the "first and last mile" of a member's commute.
"car2go is an increasingly important part of more and more peoples' lives, and it's so satisfying to see how we are tangibly improving quality of life through carshare in cities across North America," said Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go North America. "We are continually working to help more people in cities travel easily and affordably, and are in discussions with a number of additional cities who—like us—want to deliver the many economic and environmental benefits of one-way carsharing to their residents and visitors."
In January, car2go made a significant investment in North America by reportedly becoming the first and only one-way carsharing service to offer Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Since then, car2go says it has added nearly 100,000 new members and currently offers larger four-door, five-passenger Mercedes-Benz vehicles in eight of its 11 North American locations. The service plans to bring Mercedes-Benz vehicles to additional North American locations, and expects to create a North American fleet made-up predominantly of Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA vehicles.
"In July 2016, we released results of our three-year study examining the impact of one-way carsharing across five North American cities. Across the cities, we found that one-way carsharing services, like car2go, were responsible for removing up to 11 other vehicles from urban streets, while also reducing carbon emissions on net," said Dr. Susan Shaheen, Co-Director of the University of California Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center. "It's encouraging to see that car2go's membership not only continues to rise, but that car2go's members are opting to choose carsharing more frequently when they travel."
Among car2go's U.S. and Canadian locations, New York, Toronto, and Vancouver have experienced the fastest year-over-year membership growth in the first half of 2017. Vancouver tops all North American car2go membership with over 135,000 local members. In the U.S., Seattle leads with more than 95,000 members. U.S. and Canadian car2go members have taken 37.5 million trips with car2go since the service launched in North America in late 2009 with its first location in Austin, TX.