In which I am once more car-enabled.

Today was my first experience with car sharing (or as I think of it, mini-renting). I reserved a car yesterday so that I could run some errands today. When the time came, I walked up, waved my evil RFID card over the windshield, and off I went. It was a hybrid and an automatic, both things I’m not accustomed to driving, but overall it wasn’t too hard to get used to.

I hit a little snag when I tried to extend my reservation because I was running late. The automated system told me that someone else had the car reserved, and that I couldn’t extend, but when I got home I discovered that nobody else had the car reserved for two more hours. When I called to ask why, they seemed puzzled and were unable to give me an answer.

When I was done, I took my stuff out, waved the RFID card over the dash again, the car locked itself, and I was done.

It was handy to have a car to run those errands, but I almost got sideswiped when I had a protected left by some lady in an (of course) SUV who ran a red light. It didn’t help that the guy in front of me panicked and slammed on his brakes, putting me right in the path of the SUV with not much of an escape route. Anyway, the woman caught herself in time and I was saved from impending doom.

My passenger was a little more shaken than me — he would have been on the impact side. Maryland drivers…

Overall it was a very neat experience, and I think it’s something that will continue to catch on.