Third car-sharing plan announced

A fleet of 650 red Fiat Cinquecentos is about invade Milan, as a third car-sharing programme prepares to compete with Car2Go’s 150 Smarts and GuidaMI’s fleet of over 100 cars and vans.

The bid by a consortium led by Eni and including Fiat and Trenitalia was approved by city hall this week, and all that is missing is a name for the new service.

The new fleet will be all Cinquecentos, mostly standard models but also several L (large) versions, including some running on methane gas. Booking a car will be similar to the Car2Go system, using mobile phones or internet.

The consortium aims to undercut the competitors’ price of €0.29 per minute by some 4 euro-cents. It is expected to be available on the road before the end of the year.

All private car-sharing schemes must abide by city council rules to be approved: 24-hour service, rapid booking systems, slots close to public transport stops and stations, all-inclusive tariffs covering rental, maintenance and fuel, and constant renewal of the fleet to keep up with European standards and ecological progress.

Announcing the new scheme, mayor Giuliano Pisapia said it was a symbol of “civilised and light-weight mobility” in the run-up to Expo2015. He added: “A car-sharing service offers a real alternative to private cars. The objectives are to reduce the number of cars on the road, reduce pollution, help families save money and guarantee faster travel.”

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