Today's hurried urbanites don't always have time to wait for the bus, unshrink their Matchbox cars, or flag down passing zambonis. Transport yourself at will with today’s Groupon: for $17, you get registration for car2go (a $35 value). As an innovative car-sharing and rental service, car2go charges members $0.35 per minute (plus tax) for time spent driving one of the company's 200 zippy, low-emissions vehicles (hourly and daily rate caps apply). After registration, members receive a card that allows access to designated matter-transporters parked around the Austin area. Cars can be tracked on an online map and may be reserved in advance online or by phone. When your errand or diplomatic mission is finished, the vehicle’s compact frame fits snugly into unrestricted parking areas or designated car2go zones, where a service team cleans it. Fuel, insurance, parking, and maintenance costs are included in the pay-per-minute fee.
Members of car2go enjoy the freedom of transportation that comes with owning a car without the worries of keeping up its maintenance or discovering that it’s a robot in disguise. Participants can reserve a car ahead of time through the company’s website or snag an unreserved vehicle by swiping their membership card past the windshield to unlock it and punching in a PIN to start it up. All fuel, insurance, parking, and maintenance costs are included with each rental, allowing patrons hassle-free travel as they explore downtown or give their pet goldfish a tour of the suburbs. After zipping around town, members park in an open car2go spot and walk away, letting a team of cleaners and technicians take care of the rest.