Imagine of having the freedom of commuting and owning a vehicle, without the hassle of actually owning one. These hassles with owning a car: ”buying and running cost”, ”high fuel cost”, ”e-toll cost” and ”insurance cost”. But this will soon be coming to an end, starting-up on the 1st June 2015 we introduce ”Locomute”.
Locomute is a new a local car sharing company, offers consumers a more tech-savvy and flexible approach in the area of urban mobility. Locomute allows its members, Locomuters, to access any of their cars parked throughout South Africa to use for as long as they want.
Locations of available cars can be found online or through their smartphone application which is also helpful for those prone to forgetting where they parked their vehicle. Members reserve a car online or via the Locomute App and simply swipe a member smartcard over a card reader on the windshield before commencing with their reservation. Locomuters have 24/7 access to a pool of vehicles located within designated zones called Locoparks.
You decide whether you will use the car for a night in town, completing your trip from the Gautrain or just running errands. You only pay for the exact amount of time you use the vehicle. Fuel, insurance, and parking are all included, and one-way trips are allowed (an additional fee may be applicable). Costs include a R499 initiation fee and a monthly fee of R45. There’s also a variable hourly and per-kilometre rate. Once-off users pay a R119 fee in addition to a variable hourly and distance rate.
Locomute offers an alternative solution to traditional rentals in metropolitan areas. For the first time in Africa, people are able to get a vehicle for an hour or two for short trips instead of renting a car for a day or using mass transit. A car used to be the ultimate symbol of freedom and independence but increasingly consumers view ownership as an expense and a burden. Often considered the gateway to other forms of collaborative consumption, car sharing is becoming increasingly popular with its promise of personal convenience.
This is definitely a taste of the innovations to come in urban mobility. As the need to address problems like congestion and pollution increases, the case for car sharing is particularly compelling. Further, in an era where people buy music by the song, driving a car by the hour only makes sense! It is time to explore this new age where access is better than ownership.