The One Where Mandle Gets A Prius

Day One of car sharing for work is complete. “My” car was there in the car port when I arrived at the LRT station this morning. My key fob worked. The interior was clean–so much so that there was even that new car smell. The gas tank was full.

But I’m not going to lie about my inaugural experience with HourCar: It stressed me out.

I was nervous this morning about not getting to the car in time for the start to me reservation. (Impact of late arrival is nothing but the cost of the reservation start time. No biggie. But hey, I’m a miser…).

I was nervous about the meeting going over and not making it back in time before the reservation was over. (See above re: being a miser. And note that I DID make it back in time.)

But most of the stress wasn’t from nerves exactly. It was me sitting in the driver’s seat trying to figure out how to turn the car on. Everything you’ve ever heard about the Prius driving quiet is true. So true that I couldn’t figure out which mode of “on” was the one I needed, and then how to move the car from park into drive. No key, no ignition, no traditional shift changer. Sounds futuristic and cool. Except when there’s no time to explore.

Everything worked out in the end and I drove to where I needed to be, in more or less the time I needed to be there. But the stress of the Prius electronics and start-up makes me slightly tempted to drive the Honda Fit next time, although that vehicle is not as conveniently located for early morning pickup with mass transit, bike, etc. Stay tuned.

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One thought on “The One Where Mandle Gets A Prius

  1. Maria and I have been a car share user for years! I joined up when I moved to the DC area in 2002, inspired by a County incentive that provided free membership and $25 in drivers credit

    That was FlexCar, which has since been bought out by ZipCar. These programs allowed Maria and I to be car free for almost two years with many vehicles throughout the metropolitan area, even ones within 2 blocks of our home in NW DC. It’s interesting to note that the regional VP for ZipCar is now the head of the District DOT. Talk about progressive.

    You may also be interested that Mercedes is rolling out a car share program that will operate more like Bike Share where vehicles do not need to be dropped off at their original locations but at proximate kiosks. Cool.

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