Unless you live under a rock (or in Davie), you've seen itty bitty blue and white Car2go vehicles all over the place for the past year. The smart car company made landfall in Miami exactly one year ago, and since then they've made their mark as an alternative to full-blown car ownership -- or Miami's paltry public transportation options.
Looking at the company's widespread growth is impressive. They boast a whopping 16,000 members citywide for their fleet of 240 vehicles. So why are they so popular in our luxury car-infested, image-conscious city? Cultist asked around to find out.
Even the folks at Car2go were a little bit surprised about the city's quick and eager adoption.
"You see a lot of really beautiful, expensive cars here, and the idea of introducing smart cars was an interesting one because I think that a lot of people take pride in the ownership of these cars," says Car2go rep Katie Stafford. "But we know there's a huge community of people -- thousands and thousands of people using Car2go every single day."
Car2go is in 21 cities worldwide, including Washington, DC; San Diego, California; Austin, Texas; and London among others. They boast 400,000 drivers in total, but with 16,000 signed up in the last 12 months -- Miami stands as one of their top usage areas.
Local Miami user Aramis Lorie says Car2go is now his main source of transportation.
"I was driving around downtown in a regular car looking for a parking spot and thought 'Of course, a smart car would fit there'... 45 minutes later I was still looking for a parking spot. So I signed up for Car2go."
"Although the infrastructure has been changing as of lately, Miami is yet to be a pedestrian city. Car2go is a great gateway between solely being a car driver to getting used to alternative methods of transportation," Lorie adds.
Stafford says they see several factors that contribute to their growing popularity.
"I definitely think Miami has so many amazing neighborhoods and if you don't have a car it may be difficult to get from one neighborhood to another - you have to get a ride with friends, ride a bike, walk. A lot of people want to go to different neighborhoods and they're able to do that with Car2go," Stafford says.
Not to mention, Car2go offers a convenient alternative to the dreaded South Beach parking gauntlet.
"There are several parking garages that Car2go members have access to and don't have to pay for parking," she adds. That in and of itself is a groundbreaking concept.
Specifically, "the Lincoln garage located on 1691 Michigan Ave and the one on 500 Collins Ave. They recently added the South Miami Municipal Garage at 5829 SW 23rd Street as well as the Watson Island behind Jungle Island." North Bay Village, too. Beach days made easy. If that's not incentive in this city, we don't know what is.
Wanna know more about this Car2go thing? Check out their website. The rides cost $.38 cents a minute (plus tax); $13.99 per hour max (plus tax); $.45 cents per mile after 150 miles (plus tax) and $72.99 per day max (plus tax).