Wednesday, June 4, 2008
PhillyCarShare is a non-profit organization that launched in 2002 as a way to cut down on the amount of cars owned in the city of Philadelphia. The idea was simple: With less automobiles clogging the road, co2 emissions would be cut. And while this is a great idea on paper, it seems like in practice, it would be a much different beast.
Nope! Philly Car Share is the real deal. For a monthly fee of $15, you can get a car at $3.90 an hour or $39.00 a day. If one doesn't want to pay the monthly cost, you can still get a car, beginning at $4.90 an hour or $49.00 a day. While this may seem excessive, Enterprise will charge you $42.13 a day, Hertz is at $55.99, and Avis is at $79.00...for an SUV. Ouch. Also, more than half of PhillyCarShare's fleet are hybrids. While all the major car rental retailers do offer hybrids (at higher rates) and will do carbon offsets, it seems obvious which is the much better option.
Another great thing about PhillyCarShare is that they're very active in Philadelphia. While I could do without the deluge of people trying to get me to sign-up as I get off the train every morning, they do work hand in hand with SEPTA, offering a half-ride rebate if you rent a car from a pod located at various stations throughout the region. While this can only be done a few times a month, it's still a great incentive to support public transportation.
While there are still not many other car shares like PCS around the country, there is a helpful list on Wikipedia that can point you in the right direction. As someone who doesn't own a car, this is definitely a great option that I will definitely consider when taking day trips outside of SEPTA's rail lines.