At Green Wheels we certainly are not anti-car, but we do promote being more conscious of how we transport ourselves. It's no secret that we all love our bikes around here, yet cars are ok as well when you need to use them. Those of us, who have lived in beautiful Humboldt County for some time, know that we are years behind new technologies. Initially I think many companies want to bring their products to us, but they want to test in larger markets, first. In this blog post I won't go in great depth with each product, or service. I'll leave the discovery up to each reader to look at the links more deeply at what interests you the most.
I'd like to point out some new ideas that are reaching areas away from Humboldt. Some of these ideas are very new being tested in limited markets, and other ideas are well known service/products with a new twist. My hope is that if more of us are aware of these products, then we can reach out to these companies, and ask them to bring their products to us in rural Humboldt.
1 - Zip car (with a twist): Welcome Car2Go as an alternative to zip car. Yes we have a limited number of zip cars on the HSU library circle, but how about some Car2Go love? The Car2Go is set up a bit differently where pick up/drop off is not required to be at the same location. So in this case it offers much more flexibility then the zip car so for some this could suit your needs better. The car just has to be parked within the home area.
2 - Getaround is a peer-to-peer car sharing system: So if you own a car, and not using it. You may rent your car to others who are in need of a car for limited use. Do you think this is something that folks would make use of in Humboldt? I saw an presentation with this company, and they are slowly increasing the market of cities they operate in. Curious to see if this will find it's way to us.
3 - WeCar by Enterprise: This is your well-established large company jumping into the zip car model. Everybody wants part of the action, right? I've heard some of the other large rental car companies are looking into this as part of their business model as well. So here we go more options, and more competition is a good thing. I like seeing these larger companies jump on the ship as it really shows the demand is growing. A tip off if you will that automobile use is changing, particularly with younger drivers.
4 - Say hello to Avego(real time ride sharing): Put an app on your phone as your account management tool for this product. If you drive a car with open seats not being used. Allow other Avego users to sit in your available seats that are traveling along the same route as yourself. So this is a two way street if you will to share. Look for open seats along your route as a passenger, or offer open seats as a driver. I also saw Avego do a presentation as well, and thought this was very interesting. I'm not sure if I would use this, or not personally. Though to see these new innovations in technology to use cars differently is very encouraging.
5- Metro Mile is the first company in the nation to offer pay per mile auto insurance. This company just launched in Portland, OR this month. I've already checked, and can't get the insurance here in Arcata, yet. Jonathan as usual at BikePortland did a great job on reporting this info. So check out the links above!
It's OK that not all of us want to give up our cars, and automobiles can be great when we really need them. It has come to a time though where we must really re-think how we use our cars. We need to manage our cars differently in how we use them. At Green Wheels if you were not familiar with some of these companies, then we hope you may take the time to check them out. If these products/services interest you, perhaps you can take the time to contact these companies. Share your encouragement for these companies to come to Humboldt County!
The Green Wheels team wants to thank all of our readers for being with us! Feel free to share your thoughts with us in blog comments, or on our GW facebook group page. We welcome readers/members alike to share ideas, articles, pics, etc with us on facebook! Green Wheels very much enjoys being interactive with the community.