Smart Travel

screenshot_2016-06-21-07-02-02.pngI signed up for ReachNow shortly after the University Street Fair. I couldn’t have done it much sooner than that, because the car-sharing service is smart-phone-only. Even the sign-up process is accomplished only through their smart phone app.

(As the guy at the ReachNow street fair booth pointed out, “smart phone” means either Android or Apple. Windows phones don’t count.)

Unlike car2go, ReachNow doesn’t have a map on their web site. You need the app and an account to see where cars are located. (It’s kind of stinky, actually. Sign up for our service before you see what we offer. But, oh well.)

I haven’t used ReachNow yet, simply because I haven’t had the need. I can’t remember when I last used car2go – again, because I haven’t needed it. I logged into the Zipcar app recently, just to see if my account was still active – it’s been that long. (It is still active.)

Until recently, the car2go web site had an interactive map. I was able to reserve a car without a smart phone. I don’t know when it happened – I noticed it for the first time last Friday – but car2go’s map is no longer interactive. You can see where cars are located, but you can no longer see any information about a car, and you can no longer reserve it. I need the app for that. It seems that, while I wasn’t looking, car2go has become smart-phone-only. (For reserving one, that is. As far as I know, it’s still possible to find one at random and hold your card against the reader. I think that’s also true of ReachNow.)

Zipcar still has an interactive map on their web site. At the present time, you can still use their service without a smart phone. (You can also look at the map without an account.)

It was once possible to use OneBusAway by calling a number from any phone and entering a stop number (well, except a rotary dial, that is). That was discontinued a long time ago. The map on their web site still works, and they have a mobile site for people with web browsers on their not-smart phones, like my old Tracfone. I think you can still get stop information via text message, as well – which is just as good as calling the number.

Someday, I’m going to use a car2go or ReachNow car again, and I’m now glad I have a smart phone.

2 thoughts on “Smart Travel

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