July 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm #75031
How about a Boris Cars scheme for London, modelled on Autolib in Paris (and similar schemes in Germany and Italy)?
“A new report, Car Rental 2.0 by Imperial College for the RAC Foundation, suggests a rental scheme based more closely on the Barclays Cycle Hire model could have a potential market of 1.6m people in the capital alone. People could pick the car up in one location and drop it off in another. A similar scheme started in Paris last year — Autolib’ offers more than 1,700 electric cars at 250 locations across the city.”
It seems someone is already sniffing around:
“Chibout says the firm has already been approached by “several other cities”. Is London one of them? He gives an enigmatic smile.”July 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm #85476
VERY long story, but I actually dreamt about this back in 2003. The cars were like golf buggies, but with doors & windows and painted in the same livery as the DLR had at the time.July 3, 2012 at 10:34 pm #85477
This would be awful. The roads are congested enough as it is, and in zone 1 it is quicker to walk or cycle most of the time!July 4, 2012 at 8:05 am #85478
Don’t Streetcars and Zipcars already operate on similar lines? I’d consider them but the sign up fees are too high. Best short term car hire deal I got was from SixT – three hours’ hire for about £11. That gave me enough time to drive from Victoria to Crystal Palace, pick up a desk I purchased on ebay, drop it off at home and return the car. Much cheaper than a taxi but I don’t think they offer it any more.
Couldn’t have done it with one of those French Autolibs – they’re far too small.July 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm #85479
Yes, Zipcar operates something very similar, but the drawback is that you can’t have a one-way rental. Actually Streetcar used to allow one-way rentals, but there was a massive £24 surcharge (because a staff-member had to pick it up and take it back to its original bay).
The idea is that the scheme takes private cars off the road, as it has done in most cities that similar schemes operate in. The danger is that it could pull people off the buses/trains and on to the road. But surveys by Zipcar/Streetcar have found that most of their members are either former car users, or people who were considering buying a car.
I think it’s still a very long way off in London. Car-sharing is already more developed here than it is in other European cities, and I can’t see Zipcar being too happy about facing a public-sector rival.July 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm #85480
Oh, and Congokid – best rental I’ve got in London was £3 a DAY! EasyCar, 2001. I rented it for 3 weeks!
I joined Streetcar when it launched, so I’ve got free lifetime membership of Zipcar (now that they’ve merged). It’s good for emergencies and Ikea runs. I see Autolib as being more like a self-drive taxi.July 16, 2012 at 8:06 am #85482
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