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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 6, 2007 3:45 PM. The previous post in this blog was Correction. The next post in this blog is Political Art of the Week. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

It's the sustainable thing to do

I sure hope our local taxing authorities aren't overlooking this source of revenue.

Comments (22)

Nice. What's next? A walking tax? Just wait, folks. If too many people use transit, the lawmakers will have us pay a "transit tax" to make up for lost gas tax revenues. (Kinda like the one they tried on hybrid cars when they first came out, although they creatively called that one a "fee".)
How about a carpool tax? Crosswalk tax? It wont stop.

Not gonna happen. If CoP gives them praking spaces thruout town, they are one of the anointed.

Which is kind of irritating since they charge about $65/day to use one of their cars (plus an annual membership fee.)

What is annoying is I am not seeing why this is any diff than Enterprise, except Enterprise has cheaper economy car rentals and they will delive for long-term rentals.

One difference is that Flexcar's run by a good friend of Neil Goldschmidt.

Except that the City FlexCar $60,000 a year for use of the streets. And you rent FlexCar by the hour so in most cases you don't pay $65 a day for the short trips they are designed to replace. And the cars are available in the higher density areas of the City on many street corners so you don't need to go to the airport to get your car.

Flexcar is not for everyone but as a substitute for a second car (or even a first one) for short trips it can work well for City dwellers. (And yes I know it's used by those dreaded California yuppies in the Pearl so it is automatically a bad thing.)

Greg C

Except that the City charges FlexCar $60,000 a year for use of the streets.

Jon's right

The tipping point for all those sustainable, green, BS-filled gasbags on the city council, Pothole included, will come when revenues decline because of their "policies" hehehehe (sorry, every time I see that word juxtaposed with those clowns, I lose it).

That's when their real agenda will be exposed - more and more government dependence does have a price. You can bet somebody will have to pay. Like any Ponzi scheme, its success will hasten its undoing.

****One difference is that Flexcar's run by a good friend of Neil Goldschmidt.****

Well Bill Scott, a bonified FON (friend of Neil's) runs the Portland office. Is that who you mean Jack? Or is the Company President Mark Norman in Seattle a FON as well?

Greg C

Oh, cry me a freakin' river. The local governments do their level best to tax the cab industry out of existence. We simply pass along those costs to you, the consumer, and so will Flexcar.

That's how socialism works. Everyone wants something for nothing, but nothing material in this world is free, nothing. Someone, somewhere is paying for all of those free goodies the loving Nanny state wants you to depend on.

I was talking about Bill. I don't know about the Seattle guy. I do know the whole thing's controlled by some super-rich CEO type.

It's just a car rental business with an exceedingly vague "green" mystique (driving is driving is driving), and lots of good connections. Somehow it's the darling of the Bus kids (until they have kids of their own).

"Except that the City FlexCar $60,000 a year"

Then ask Enterprise if they want to pay $60K a year to park their cars for free on city streets all over town. THat's a weak rejoinder.

Face it, FLexCar kisses the right ass and poses just right and all of sudden they get what they want - even though they are as much nito profit as Enterprise is.

Instead of competing, FlexCar uses the ol' govt by fiat thing to get their profit.

Jack, the "super-rich CEO type" you're referring to is Steve Case, the founder of AOL.

One reason I got out of corporate law practice was that I got tired of remembering the names of all the overpaid jerks whose behinds required regular kissing.

a rental car, is a rental car, is a rental car
It matters not if you park it on the street or at the airport or at the Bugdet lot on NW Everett St or the garage across from Big Pink.
I consider myself as concerned as anyone about all the "stuff" associated with cars, but it seems to me that the officios are not going to be able to create a "pedestrian village" simply by making drivng more and more difficult for those of us who have no altenative.
Has no one noticed that the infrastructure here is totally different from nearly all European cities and most of the east coast that are supposed to be the models for the mass transit systems?
Oh gee, I forgot...of course Charley Hales did spend something like 15 minutes at Heathrow, so that made him and expert!
Does anyone know Vicki Deede's (trolley administrator) qualifications?

I think Enterprise or any other agency would be glad to pay $60T a year to be able to park their cars at strategic points around town. Think of their land, building, property taxes, city taxes, etc. that they must pay to have five or so rental locations on their own property like Enterprise around town-certainly much higher than $60T. Plus they have the rental car taxes which FlexCar doesn't. I agree with Jack-"a rental car, is a rental car...".

I think Enterprise or any other agency would be glad to pay $60T a year to be able to park their cars at strategic points around town.

As I recall, the city said it was going to allow them all to bid on the designated spaces. I wouldn't be surprised if the way it was structured initially, only Flexcar would want to bid. But maybe in the future, other players will try to work their way in.

That is, if the whole membership business model works. I'm not sure it does. Case can afford to burn money for a long time.

From the link:As you know, car-sharing provides a valuable alternative to personal car-ownership and fosters increased use of public transportation among local residents.
JK: Why would we want to "foster increased use" of transportation that is more expensive, slower and less convenient than driving (and probably doesn’t save energy or reduce pollution)?

Thanks
JK

"And the cars are available in the higher density areas of the City on many street corners so you don't need to go to the airport to get your car."

You don't need to go to the airport to get a rental car. There are rental car lots in high density areas, that are easy to get to. There's a Thrifty on SW Pine, and another (not sure which chain) on Burnside, near NW 23rd. There must be more. I'm a walker and mass transit user, but recently needed a car. $30 for two days. I can't imagine paying over $60 for one. Flexcar seems like a useless fluff project. Fluff is getting really boring.

Flexcar works well for some, mostly for short-term (2-3 hours) use. And Enterprise can't just salt the streets with its cars. The Flexcar model requires a fairly complicated system to provide security and still give users access to the cars and their keys. The price comparisons tossed out here are a little inaccurate, too, since Flexcar's rates include fuel (with a mileage limitation) and insurance while standard rental company rates do not.

Somewhere in this conversation it should be pointed out that all the car rental agencies at the airport pay fees to the Port. What does Flexcar pay, if anything?

AFAIK Flexca is not at the airport. If that is so, why would they pay?

"The price comparisons tossed out here are a little inaccurate, too, since Flexcar's rates include fuel (with a mileage limitation) and insurance while standard rental company rates do not."

I did not pay for mileage at Thrifty. I had unlimited miles. Fifteen dollars per day. I opted not to get the damage insurance.

"I did not pay for mileage at Thrifty. I had unlimited miles. Fifteen dollars per day. I opted not to get the damage insurance."

But you paid for your gas. Also, I would assume that you have another auto insurance policy that would cover you in the event of an accident. If not, then you are a fool.

Flexcar fees include gas and insurance. I would venture that most individuals who use Flexcar don't own a car and don't have other insurance to cover them. For them, it's a good deal.


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