This car sharing scheme has been hugely successful in Milan
Car2go,a Mercedes-Daimler subsidiary, will be introduced in Rome in the first quarter of 2014. The system allows drivers to pick up and leave a Smart car in any public parking place within the area covered by the service. No forward booking is necessary and the all-inclusive cost (fuel surcharge, taxes, insurance, damage cover) for registered users works out at an average of €0.29 per minute.
Drivers register online, then go to a designated car2go point and pick up their membercard. Once registered, users get a chip card and a pin number. The card opens the car, drivers then insert their pin, answer a few questions about the condition of the car and drive off. When the journey is finished, pass the card over the touch screen display to record the end of the journey, allowing the system to debit the card. The car is then ready for the next customer.
To locate the nearest car, consult the map on the website, check using your smartphone or simply take the first Car2go vehicle that you find. The idea is to use the Car2Go service for short journeys, picking the car up in one area of the city and leaving it off in another.
The Car2Go system was rolled out as a pilot project in Ulm, Germany in 2008, with a fleet of 50 cars. It is now operating in 25 cities in Europe and north America, has registered more than half a million users and has over 9,000 cars on its books.
Milan was the first city in Italy to launch the service, and after Rome, there are plans to introduce the scheme in Florence and Bologna.