Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Daimler's Car2Go and Hertz On Demand bring new car-sharing to D.C.

October 6, 2011 - 10:49 AM
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A Car2Go vehicle in Austin. (Photo: flickr/cote)

Breaking news in the car-sharing world — the District Department of Transportation has just confirmed two new car-sharing companies will officially be coming to Washington, D.C., and those two companies are Daimler's Car2Go and Hertz On Demand. 

DDOT spokesperson John Lisle hesitated to reveal the new companies that will enter the District in the past but this morning, he informed WJLA reporter Philip Stewart by e-mail that Zipcar, Car2Go, and Hertz are the big three in the District. Stewart confirmed the exchange with me and publicly tweeted out the new names with the encouraging thought: "Here's to competition."

I first reported that these car-sharing companies were interested in our nation's capital all the way back on July 7 of this year as DDOT held a bidding war over its 84 public curbside parking spaces, which Zipcar had exclusively enjoyed for years initially for free, then for a few hundred dollars a space. Now those parking spaces will run companies thousands of dollars, and as a result, Zipcar lost most of their parking spaces as of October 1. They have 14 spaces left in D.C. and have sought to replace the spaces with private alternatives.

Back in July, DDOT's Scott Kubly told me that three car-sharing companies — Hertz, Daimler, and Enterprise — had stepped forward to express interest in coming to D.C. Two of those three companies, at least, have officially made it here, we know, which fits with their other stated comments. Greater Greater Washington's David Alpert discussed Daimler's desire to bring Car2Go to the District as well as the virtues of its model compared to Zipcar's back in July.

As Stewart says, here's to competition. I imagine we'll be seeing much more of Car2Go and Hertz On Demand before long.

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