I love my current car. The W210 Mercedes-Benz E320 is a solid performer. A cruiser if you will, it’s built for cruising the highways at speed. I’m not gonna beat an SLS off the line in acceleration, but I can easily cruise at 85+ MPH in the express lanes on I-95 without difficulty.
That being said, when I go out to shoot at a nightclub, I’m hesitant to take it out. Parking in a safe area is costly, and of course presents several safety concerns. No matter how ‘secure’ a lot is, there’s still a fair amount of unmonitored traffic shuffling in and out of a lot during the course of a night, any of them whom could be a potential vandal or thief, looking for a score. Or even someone who just isn’t looking where they are going and decides that it’s time to bump into my vehicle.
So, when I go out to shoot, I usually take the cab, or the bus. Living just off of Biscayne Boulevard makes both options doable.
Both those options have negatives though.
The Cab - The cab costs money. From my place to say, Space, for example, is $11 plus tip (you do remember to tip your driver, don’t you?) on average. Also, cabs may not be immediately available during peak times, whether you stand outside or dial 305-888-8888.
The Bus - The 3 bus, while cheap, only runs once a hour after 11 PM. And, the arrival time at your stop, though listed at say, 1:35 AM, can vary up to 20 minutes. Not fun when it’s warm out and there’s some of the local characters coming out of the Motel South Pacific. I’m not threatened by them, of course, but it can give one pause.
Those were my only two options aside from driving, until about a few weeks ago.
Enter Car 2 Go. A brand of Daimler (Mercedes), Car 2 Go is a car-share service that’s been successful in Europe for a few years now. They recently launched in Miami, dropping around 240 blue-and-white Smart Fortwos around town. Finding some previous press and a handy promo code, I decided to sign up. Since you only pay for what you use, just having the membership costs nothing. Other share services have monthly fees, apparently. Also, Car 2 Go is a “one way” service, you don’t have to return the car to a lot, you can just leave it at any City of Miami-run parking meter.
So, with this in mind, I decided to try a little experiment.
I was schedule to shoot at Space this past Saturday, much like every other Saturday for the past decade or so. Usually, I would take a cab or the bus for the reasons I mentioned above. However, this time, I decided to try out my new C2G membership for a real task rather than just an excuse to test a Smart car out. Using C2G’s handy iOS app, I found a car about a block from my apartment.
Yes, it was 3:40 in the morning. I had a friend’s going-away party prior, so sue me.
As you can see, there was one 90 meters and change away from me. So, I slung my goodie bag onto my back, and walked to the vehicle.
After I boarded, I did the usual login procedures, and checked the time.
I drove down Biscayne Boulevard at a reasonable speed and arrived at an empty City parking spot a block from Space around 7 minutes later.
Car 2 Go charges you 38 cents a minute to drive. There’s no membership fee or paying for parking or gas. If you need gas there’s a Wright Fleet fuel card inside. I think they give you credits if you have to stop and put gas in, even. So, .38 x 7 = 2.66, give or take a minute or so.
A cab, like I mentioned, is $11.00 plus tip. The bus is $2.00 flat but you have to kind of estimate when it’s going to show up.
So, for this situation, Car 2 Go was a clear winner.
Of course, this only works if you live in the City of Miami, and there’s a vehicle near you. Also, for me it was a 1-way trip, since I left Space around 9 AM, and I had had a few drinks. Obviously with C2G, you have to obey all the normal rules of the road! A kind friend who works at Space was nice enough to drive me home, so my total transport bill for the evening was $2.66. Even if I took a cab home, I would have still come out ahead.
I can definitely recommend Car 2 Go. Besides, even though the Smart drives like an angry golf cart, it’s kind of fun to drive when you flip it over to manual.
Check ‘em out at car2go.com.