We first learned from Elliott McFadden at Austin On Two Wheels, then earlier today Thomas Butler (DAA staff and Austin CarShare board chair) confirmed for us that Austin CarShare has ceased all operations.
Much like the Dillo, we wanted to be a cheerleader for this alternative form of transportation. It didn’t work perfectly, but it did work well for many things. We wanted to see it succeed because we knew the people behind it, and how inspired and passionate they are about the underlying concept.
Austin CarShare created the market for this form of transportation in Central Texas, and it’s regrettable to see them close up shop. Not to denigrate the achievements of car2go, but it lacks the bootstrapping ethos evident in Austin CarShare. Truth is car2go works better for most users.
Car2go’s presence in more places and the ability to park it [almost] anywhere makes it more accessible to more people. And that’s a good thing for consumers/commuters. Car2go simply has the financial backing to achieve a critical mass of cars and users.
Were it not for the entrepreneurial vision of these guys/gals four years ago, inspired to create Austin CarShare, car2go would not likely have chosen Austin to beta test what is to become the largest car sharing program in the world.
Brandi Clark with Austin Eco Network puts it more eloquently.