August 14, 2009

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I was introduced to the concept of car sharing a few months ago when our car was rear-ended on the Bay Bridge. Totaled. Beautiful.

A couple days later, I was at the Union Street fair and came across a booth for City CarShare. Their friendly staff gave me a crash course (ha!) on car sharing and sent me on my way. One week later, after an online tutorial and review of my driving record, I had keys in hand and was ready to give it a whirl.

That weekend we had plans to help friends move to Larkspur. Here's how it worked. Step 1: Walk one block from our apartment and pick up up our pre-reserved car, a Toyota Prius. Step 2: Drive to Larkspur, stop at McDonalds to carbo-load. Step 3: Move dozens of boxes, walk up four flights of stairs, move even more boxes, walk down four flights of stairs, repeat 10 times. Step 4: Rehydrate. Step 5: Drive back to San Francisco and glide into our dedicated Car Share parking space. Yep, no more driving 'round and 'round for hours searching for a spot. And no need to fill up the car when you return it (unless it's under half a tank, in which case you use the gas card they put in every car). Total Cost: About 50 bucks.

City CarShare Facts:

  • Trips around town cost $5/hour + 40¢ /mile

  • Trips out of town cost $40/day + 10¢/mile

  • Rates include gas, maintenance, roadside service, and the best insurance you can get — up to $1 million per incident.

ZipCar is another great alternative for car sharing in San Francisco.

Dozens of cities in the United State now have car share companies. Here's a good list.

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