Mercedes car sharing may launch in March
Rome will welcome the Smart car-sharing scheme Car2go in March, following its success in Milan where it was launched last summer.
The Mercedes-Daimler subsidiary is set to be joined by other private companies in the wake of new regulations approved by the city. Four companies are expected to operate alongside the car sharing scheme already run by Rome's Agenzia della Mobilità, according to reports in Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.
The capital's current car-sharing scheme has a fleet of about 130 cars with some 3,000 registered users. It has never really taken off, largely because of the complicated registration requirements and the limited parking spaces in inconvenient areas of the city.
Its users are a fraction of the 60,000 in Milan who signed up to Car2go in the first seven months of the scheme last year.
According to specialist magazine Quattro Ruote the regulations for the new operators in Rome will allow the cars to be returned to any regular parking spot in the city and will permit access to the ZTL (zona di traffico limitato) in the historic centre. A 24/7 call centre will be available to help subscribers.
Among the companies reportedly most likely to operate in Rome is Enjoy, managed by ENI in partnership with Fiat, Trenitalia and CartaSi. Since it launched in Milan two months ago Enjoy counts more than 40,000 registered users and 115,000 rentals.
Initially there should be 500 Smart cars available in Rome, increasing later to a total of 600, as is the case in Milan.