Ride-hailing, Rentals, and Car Shares

Ride. Ride. Ride. Hitchin a ride.
credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

I have only ever done ride-hailing a few times on one particular trip to Arlington/DC. It was a pretty okay experience (The ride hailing was okay. The rest of the trip was AWESOME). Before I did it though I was pretty nervous. I don't think this nervousness has any basis in fact. I just am not so sure of the idea of a stranger driving me around alone in a car--usually at night. For some reason I am fine with a stranger driving a bus at any time of day. It's more public for one thing. Also, I may have teeny-tiny control issues. I know some folks who are drivers, and I would totally trust them to drive me around. I feel silly to be nervous about it but there it is.

Inviting, no?
So, tonight I loaded the Lyft app onto my phone, expecting, if nothing else, I will at some point need to get directly to Sherman hospital on the other side of town when no buses are running. It looks like it will cost around $12 one-way to get to Sherman from my house. I do not usually (knock on wood) have to do this often. So, while that may have given me some initial sticker shock, it is likely well within the travel expenses budget allowed by my church.

Enterprise (who will pick me up!) is just a little way down busy Chicago street from me. If I needed to get further out than Sherman Hospital and knew about it in advance it seems like Enterprise would be the way to go cost wise. Still at $31 something a day that seems like a lot. If I had to do it often for a prolonged period of time it would be cost prohibitive. Which leaves me with the question, what about a car share?
Talking about cars. Looking at bikes. :)

Zipcar is in Chicago but not out here. Do they go to smaller cities? What other car shares are out there? It seems like it would make a lot more economic sense to share a car for a few hours rather than rent one for a whole day. I am certain that I am not the only one who would use such a service in Elgin. What does it take to make something like that happen?

Now, in my ideal world I am traveling almost everywhere on my bike anyway. In my ideal world that bike has an electric assist--so no matter how tired I am it would take me about the same amount of time to bike there as hail a ride anyway (and cost less!). In my ideal world that bike is a Tern GSD (please excuse the drool on my keyboard). But since life is never ideal, it would be nice to have the three options of ride-hailing, renting, and car sharing in my back pocket. In fact, I'm pretty sure if a car share was in place in Elgin, the Mazda would already be sold. Dream big, right?



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