"Open-Source"--The Next Big Thing In Twin Cities Car- And Bike-Sharing?

Conrad deFiebre | The Line | September 25, 2013

What if car- and bicycle-sharing could be as simple and convenient as owning--at a fraction of the price? Some transportation leaders see a potential for "exponential" solutions to thorny problems of our autocentric culture ranging from environmental degradation to roadway and parking congestion.

Minneapolis, already home to several first-generation car-sharing services, is launching a possible game-changer in the field: Car2Go is deploying hundreds of two-seat Smart cars, made by Car2Go's parent company, Daimler of Germany, that can be picked up and dropped off at any unrestricted parking spot in the city--even in front of your own home.

The firm began operations in 2008 in its headquarters city of Ulm, Germany, where it now has 300 cars. Starting last year, it has put 1,200 in Berlin. It also operates in several other large European and Canadian cities, as well as Austin, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Miami; Portland, Ore.; San Diego; Seattle, and Washington, D.C.