15 January 2009

Baby, its cold outside!

Do you ever wonder how the cars get clean or who that person is under the hood of that HOURCAR? Thats Tia, the Fleet Coordinator (me). And on days like today I am thanking anyone who will listen for the invention of long underwear and wool hats. Making sure cars will be available in the cold, getting new tires and brakes, checking washer fluid and changing a few sets of wipers blades: that was my day today, when the temps were at minus 21 degrees.

(These are, in fact, the coldest temperatures ever experienced by HOURCAR, and as far as we know, by an English-language car sharing organisation. Why "English-language"? Because Communauto has seen colder temperatures in Quebec.)

On occasion, I will have a helper, usually my 9 year old daughter. We get to chit chat in the car as we drive around the city checking on cars and keeping things in order. Today we had to look sadly at all the dirty cars because all the car washes were closed due to the weather. Although I know the folks at Park & Lake car wash and The Downtowner will be happy to see me come next week, when the temps are up and the cars can get a bath! I know them by name and they know me by wash and by logo.

I think dirty cars are a badge of honor for HOURCAR though. A sign that these cars see so much use, and that after three and a half years, they are a vital part of the transit picture for the Cities. We've broken them in well, after three winters! Its like a pair of running shoes. Its the soft, worn ones with the broken and tied laces that feel the best.

So, if you see the short, smiley woman under the hood, or driving an HOURCAR, give a wave!

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