Car-sharing boom goes bust: Surprise and dismay in Seattle as last free-floating service disappears

The car talk on the street was one of surprise Wednesday as Share Now, operator of car2go, announced that it will be pulling out of North America and leaving Seattle without any of the free-floating car-sharing services that the city helped to pioneer.

With the prior departure of competitors ReachNow and LimePod, Seattle will be left without a car-sharing service that doesn’t require users to return the vehicles to a designated location. In a growing city that has become a hotbed for all sorts of companies to launch and innovate around countless tech-driven initiatives, users expressed disappointment that the transportation option wasn’t a lasting success.

Alex Johnson, a web designer at Tableau in the Fremont neighborhood, got the news in an email from Share Now on Wednesday morning. With a lunch date a 10-minute drive away, he walked a few blocks to find a car2go Mercedes.