A lot of the talk these days is about rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft when it comes to private urban mobility services while other competitors fly under the radar. But last week, Car2Go made some big waves by announcing that its parent company Moovel had gobbled up RideScout and mytaxi, two mobility app services. This merger represents a positive combination of mobility services for urban dwellers amenable to a variety of transportation alternatives on the fly.

In a press release to members on Wednesday, Car2Go talked about their new merger saying:

Since our launch five years ago, we have believed that how we all get from point A to point B has a massive impact on our quality of life and the environment in which we live, work, and play. Whether it’s to get to those significant life experiences, or those everyday life errands, we have remained committed to making life easier to get to where you need to go, when you need to go, with complete ease. As the largest fastest-growing global carsharing company, we are proud to say that we have continued those efforts to provide the best service and experience to our valued community of over 850,000 registered car2go members across 26 cities around the world.

Today, we are thrilled to share that we have acquired RideScout, the leading app-based mobility platform in North America, dedicated to allowing users to search and compare ground transportation options on demand. Together, we share a vision to provide a stronger future of mobility that will provide our valued members across North America with a radically simpler, smarter, and user-focused experience in searching for the best way to get from point A to point B.

The services

Currently, Car2Go is largely a web- and app-based service that connects users to available vehicles parked on-street or in designated Car2Go parking spaces. Trips can be made one-way with fares charged by usage time and vehicles accessed by electronic cards.

RideScout is a broader app-based service that takes a holistic view at transportation. An app user can use the geolocation feature to find available transportation services in proximity and determine the cost and time to a chosen destination. RideScout currently covers over 60 cities in the US and integrates a wide range of mobility services like cycle share, walking, transit, taxis and ridesharing, car rental services, and more. Many of the services can be booked or referred from the RideScout app like Car2Go and taxis. (If you have an interest in trying out the RideScout service, you can download the iOS or Android app.)


Above: some of the dynamic features of RideScout on iOS, click for larger version.

The future

The past few years has seen a rapid evolution of urban mobility services and technology. This has led to many winners and losers in a battle of who will dominate the market (see the endless Uber v. Lyft v. local taxis saga). But it appears that Car2Go has taken a different path, one that is both cooperative and dynamic.

Under a Car2Go-RideScout-mytaxi alliance, the ethos of parent company Moovel is simple: get users from one point to another, even if it that means using other services to do it. That takes guts, especially in light of what Car2Go and mytaxi represent to Moovel. Both are very profitable entities in their own right, and indeed they will be options in the RideScout service–but they are just two of many.

RideScout’s universal mobility means users will be inclined to make other mobility choices that don’t pad Moovel’s bottom line, like taking cycle share or ordering a Sidecar. It’s a bold and commendable decision by Moovel because people can make transparent and informed choices that work best for them at that moment in time. RideScout’s service will continue to improve as features are enhanced and other mobility providers are added and integrated deeper into the app; all of which benefit the app user and urban mobility.

Article Author

Stephen is a professional urban planner in Puget Sound with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. With stints in great cities like Bellingham and Cork, Stephen currently lives in Seattle. He primarily covers land use and transportation issues and has been with The Urbanist since 2014.