Thursday, October 04, 2007

Goin' Mobile...

...beep beep!

I successfully completed my trial run with Mobility this afternoon. For those of you who don't know, Mobility is a car-sharing cooperative here in Switzerland. Here's how it works:

Pay an annual fee which includes gas and insurance...

Reserve a car (conveniently located a five-minute walk from our apartment) on the internet...

Show up at the car at the appointed time...

Hold the Mobility card up to the transponder located on the windshield. This unlocks the door and the glove box...

Take the keys out of the glove box...

Start the car, and drive away. A charge is then assessed based on the amount of time one has the car and the number of kilometers driven...

Return the car at the designated time, put the keys in the glove box, lock up the car and walk away.

That's it!

I think Mobility is going to work well for us when we finally get rid of the Jeep. Sure, I'll end up having to drive a red Ford Fiesta that has Mobility written all over it, but...what the hell? There actually is a pretty good selection of cars, but I'm kind of stuck with the Fiesta because it's an automatic. Yes, you guessed it...

...I never learned to drive a stick shift (New Year's resolution for 2008!).

The only problem (which wasn't really that much of a problem at all) was that I couldn't figure out how to start the thing at first. I quickly discovered that I had to release the handbrake and press the foot brake down in order to start it. You see, the Fiesta had this strange automatic/manual combination thing; something I'd never really seen before. I had to actually put it into reverse like you would with a manual, and then the stick shift had an option for automatic or manual; the manual option having pluses (+) and minuses (-) which I'm assuming is how one goes about shifting gears if one wants to drive it like a manual.

I drove the car over to Reinach to take George for a walk, went into the Coop to do a bit of shopping, and then returned it to its reserved parking spot at the old folks' home right by our apartment. I actually returned the thing 30 minutes early, terminated my reservation, and received confirmation that I would only be billed for 90 minutes instead of two hours, and that I had driven a total of 14 kilometers. I think the charge will be something like CHF 12 (about $10). Not bad...not bad at all.

You wanna know somethin'?

It recently dawned on me that I'm becoming pretty "green". I mean, I don't even think climate change is as serious as the media and just about every person I know thinks it is, and...I'm the one buying carbon-offsets when I fly AND getting rid of the gas-guzzling SUV. I guess I'm doing MY part.

What the hell have YOU done?

5 comments:

Michael said...

TBF - I'm crushed...i thought you could do EVERYTHING!

We have i-Go here and several of my friends use it, they love it!

Mrs. TBF said...

Congratulations! Well, the red fiesta certainly won't be "stylin'"!

Di said...

Sounds like an ideal plan!! Only in Switzerland could something work so smoothly!

As for carbon minimisation - planted a few trees and regularly undertake some environmental conservation work - otherwise known as slash and burn!!

CanadianSwiss said...

Well, who'd have thunk! Actually, it's a pretty good system. Since I'm not really using my car much lately, so this might be an alternative. No more road taxes, no more car insurance to pay.... Hmmmm.

tinakala said...

I walk to work.Thought it`s a good thing. But they say it uses up environment (and oxygen reserves) even more than driving a car.Go figure.