Monday, April 11, 2005

 

Car Sharing Made Easy

My wife called me into the living room a while back to watch a TV news segment on Zipcar and Flexcar, two new "car-sharing" services that are operating in some US metro areas. The concept is simple - locate a car near you, use it, and pay the fee. I gotta imagine this is great for those that live in urban areas and rarely need a car. Anyways, I had forgotten about it until the Carpundit wrote an excellent review on his experience with the service.

I wish there was a way to make this work in other areas as well. When you think about it, we tie up a substantial amount of our personal resources (i.e. money) in our cars, and then proceed to use them for perhaps a couple of hours a day. And it's not just cars and trucks, either - think of the tools in the garage, or take a look at all the idle construction, transportation, and agricultural equipment that's not making its owners any money.

A supposed advantage of capitalism is that it provides for effective allocation of resources (of course that assumes rational behavior). Hopefully we can get some more smart logistical types working on innovative solutions to the transportation problem while still maintaining personal freedom. I think that these car-sharing services are big step in the right direction. It'll be interesting to see how well they fit people's needs.

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