To and fro: Visualizing car2go migratory patterns in Portland

Because I am fairly sure that any idea I come up with has already been conceived and built, I mused out loud on Twitter that I would really love to see a time lapse of car2go vehicles and how they migrate through Portland on a daily basis. Of course, the Internet delivered.

Disposable Cars is a project from Portland’s Matt Sacks, doing exactly what I asked for. Which had been conceived and built way before I asked about it.


It’s mesmerizing. And also informative. Especially for those of you who have been marooned on one side of town or the other as these vehicles move to and fro.

To get a look, visit Disposable Cars.

(Image courtesy Sam Beebe. Used under Creative Commons.)

  1. I was gonna say, I remembered seeing that Matt did this a long time ago. Heh.

  2. I’ve been a long time Car2Go user, since they started in Austin TX in 2010. I lived in Austin then and had just moved downtown. I heard about Car2Go at their launch event and joined immediately. I love the service but have lived with the impossible challenge of using it as my only car. The problem started in Austin when they expanded their territory from just the downtown core to include the residential neighborhoods to the north extending about five miles. Instantly the commuters up north snatched them up and you would see almost the entire fleet migrate downtown in the morning and north in the evening. Most of the cars were parked in remote neighborhoods and would sit from 5pm until the next morning. Essentially becoming the private car of one remote user.

    Things got better in Austin as they added to their fleet but it was largely impossible to find a car downtown in the evening. The same is true in Portland as evidenced by these wonderful maps. To see the problem watch the cars on the far east of the map. Many of them don’t move over the entire three days.

    I don’t think Car2Go will be viable as an only car until they double or triple the cars in Portland. Take a look at some of their German cities where they have up to 1200 cars.

  3. I’m working on it. Give it time.

  4. Thanks for referring to me as “The Internet”. I hope this is a trend that continues to gather stream.

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