Brooklyn Boro

Car2go expands its home area in Brooklyn

April 29, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
car2go announced its expansion into Brooklyn. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

The car-sharing service car2go has announced that it will broaden its reach in Brooklyn. The current 31-square-mile car2go Home Area — where members can start and end trips at any approved parking location — will grow to 36 square miles with the addition of Bushwick, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, the remainder of the Crown Heights neighborhood, as well as Southern Brooklyn (east of Ocean Parkway).

“Since our launch, we have been focused on providing an innovative transportation solution for Brooklynites, allowing them greater opportunities to discover the vibrant neighborhoods within the borough,” said car2go Brooklyn General Manager Thomas McNeil.  “With more than 2,000 members already residing in these neighborhoods — all of which can be difficult to reach via public transportation — it was a logical step to expand.”

Data suggests that Brooklynites use car-sharing to complement public transportation.  In the month of March, car2go members ended 1,111 trips near the G train’s Broadway stop, and ended 851 trips near the J/M train’s Lorimer stop — two of the subway access points that members can use in conjunction with car2go.  

“Brooklyn is proud to be home to car2go, and is even prouder that its footprint into our borough is expanding,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

The Home Area expansion comes amid a successful start for car2go in Brooklyn. Since its launch in October 2014, car2go Brooklyn has already grown to more than 26,000 registered members and seen more than 165,000 trips. As the service expands to a broadened Home Area, car2go will add 50 additional smart for two vehicles to its Brooklyn fleet — bringing its total fleet count to 450 vehicles — to ensure members have convenient access to car2go vehicles.

This past January, Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported Rob Abruzzese went to check out the system and found people — both in the street and online — who have used the service. For the most part, experienced users had positive reactions. Most use car2go for short trips within Brooklyn, but a few denizens without cars said it can be a great tool for getting out of town.

“Car2go is a great option for making quick trips around Brooklyn,” Brooklyn resident Maya Ovrutsky told Abruzzese in January. Ovrutsky lives in Greenpoint and uses the Smart cars to drive from her neighborhood to Williamsburg. “The technology is easy to use, and besides a few glitches, it has worked really well,” she said.

While not everyone is a fan of the Smart car itself, many said they have been happy with the ease of finding the cars. Some have complained about availability, but car2go does employ a “street team” tasked to evenly distribute cars while also ensuring they’re gassed up and properly maintained.

The car2go website and smartphone app are generally both easy to use and accurate, but some expressed frustration when their app crashed and left them unable to find or rent cars. “I wasn’t directly affected by it, but they sent out an apologetic email,” Ovrutsky said, noting that this wasn’t a recurring issue.