Saturday, May 09, 2009

A Streetcar named....

"Yeller" or some such thing rather than the "Desire" of Tennessee William's great play as all the Streetcar club's cars are for some reason given names.

Having dispensed with a personal privately owned motor car and joined the Streetcar
car club, the savings in costs and responsibilities of car ownership are becoming increasingly apparent. The Streetcar club concept is simple. Members receive an electronic Oyster-type Card. Once driving licence is checked you can book a car on line and in as as little as 15 minutes use the electronic card to unlock it and drive off exactly as you would your own car.

We used the system for the first time to drive maytrees min. to Exeter Uni a couple of weeks back on a Sunday.
Including fuel, tax and insurance etc the Streetcar cost for the day and c.350 miles, was c.£112.

Slightly more expensive than ordinary car rental but ordinary car rental offices, airports and main railway stations etc apart,are not always open on Sundays neither are their cars usually parked within half a mile of home. There are also Streetcars available for use within yards of my London office yet around the London square where my office is, privately owned cars collect dust etc by being expensively parked and unused. The receipt last week of a £500+ insurance renewal request for our old car reminds me of how expensive in cash flow terms owing a car can be even without mainteneace and repair costs.

The car club concept is far 'greener' too. One only drives and pay for car use when it is needed and makes far fewer pointless journies by car.

Currently Wimbledon's suburban streets are full of individually owned cars parked for most of the time as people travel to work by train. If the individuals' addiction to car ownership could be broken the surrounding streets would be far less cluttered.

The Streetcar club concept might be less practical in the countryside but for urban living, its personal and environmental advantages are obvious.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting, Jerry. As you say, I don't think this particular solution would work for people like me, stuck out in the wilds of the country, but the arguments you advance make a lot of sense.


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