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Car2Go: Demand in Grandview area is strong

City, village consider company's request to serve Tri-Village

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The Car2Go car-sharing service is interested in expanding into the Tri-Village area.

Representatives from the company have made an initial informal presentation to Grandview Heights City Council and are scheduled to attend next week's Marble Cliff Village Council meeting.

"We would like to bring our service to Grandview and the surrounding area," including the village, the Fifth by Northwest area and Clinton Township, said Nick Hill, Car2Go's Columbus location manager.

Car2Go began its service in Columbus last fall and serves several neighborhoods, including Clintonville, the Short North, the Ohio State University campus area and Easton.

In essence, the company is looking to expand into Grandview because that's what its customers want, Hill said.

"Since we started in Columbus, we've received more than 100 requests from people asking, 'When are you going to come to Grandview?' and 'How dare you not come to Grandview!' " he said.

Grandview would be an ideal location for Car2Go because it is densely populated with young professionals and has a vibrant shopping and restaurant district, Hill said.

Car2Go, a subsidiary of Daimler, began in Germany in 2008 and now serves 25 cities in eight countries. In addition to Columbus, other U.S. cities served include Austin, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, San Diego, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

It offers one-way point-to-point rentals of smart cars with a fee of 38 cents per minute (driving) and reduced rates per hour and day.

Instead of visiting a traditional rental office, customers sign up as members for a $35 fee. Members can access company cars wherever they are parked using a personal ID card.

"Our service is free-flowing," Hill said. "Our members can park our vehicles in almost any on-street parking space (in Columbus, including those with meters)."

When Hill made his presentation earlier this month to Grandview City Council, Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman noted the city has no parking meters but it does have a two-hour parking limit on its side of Grandview Avenue.

Any legislation to allow Car2Go to operate in Grandview likely would require working with the police department to allow longer-term parking for the company's cars, Bowman said.

The company's goal is to have all its cars within a five-minute walk in its service areas, Hill said.

Car2Go Columbus currently has 250 cars in its fleet and plans to add more, he said.

No timeline has been set for when service in Grandview could begin, Hill said.

"It's an ongoing process with multiple municipalities, including the city of Columbus," he said.

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