Have you been wanting to drive a BMW around town without paying the premium price tag of buying one from your local BMW dealer? If you are living in the San Francisco area, you finally have the chance now that BMW is bringing their premium DriveNow car sharing service to town. 70 BMW electric ActiveE cars will be available at 9 San Francisco locations by this September (many are actually available now) and ties in with the companies ParkNow service that allows drivers to reserve a specific parking spot near their destination.
While BMW isn’t the first company in the United Starts to offer a car sharing service, what sets them apart from competitors such as ZipCar is the fact that you can pick up the car at one location and drop it off in another. As an added bonus, users of the DriveNow program will receive the ParkNow service for free at the 14 nearby locations and will be also able to recharge the vehicle for free at any approved charging stations.
So how much does it cost to drive around in the electric ActiveE BMW? To signup you need to pay a $39 activation fee which is common with all car sharing services, and then $12 for the first 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drivers pay 32 cents per minute of driving time and 13 cents per minute if the car is parked. That comes to $21.60 for the first hour and $19.20 for each extra hour of driving. To compare, driving a gas-powered BMW 328xi with the ZipCar service would cost $15.25 per hour. BMW is obviously being very competitive with their pricing for what they are calling a premium service.
The price actually gets better if you plan to rent the car for an entire day. For $109 using ZipCar, you can drive up to 180 miles before paying an extra 55 cents per mile. DriveNow is actually cheaper for the same 180 mile daylong rental. For $90 you get the same deal with all the added benefits of the parking and charging stations.
If you want to experience the luxury of driving around in a premium BMW, you now have a cheaper alternative if you live in San Francisco. The service initially launched in Germany back in June 2011, and BMW is quickly expanding the service to cities around the world. If the popularity is anything like that in Germany, you can expect to see BMW expanding to more US cities in the near future.
Photo by BMW
Article Source: German Pulse
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Exploratorium (Photo credit: rvr)
Having spent a lot of time during my childhood at the “world’s largest museum of technology and science”, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, I had memories revisit me when I saw my son exploring and investigating at the San Francisco Exploratorium, named “ Best Science Center in the World” by the 4th science center world congress in Rio de Janeiro.
Located within San Francisco’s historic Palace of Fine Arts, close to the Golden Gate Park this “…museum of science, art, and human perception was founded in 1969” by physicist Frank Oppenheimer, brother of J. Robert Oppenheimer (known to some as the “father” of the atomic bomb)
The Exploratorium is an absolute treasure for young and old, and just makes you want to go ahead and explore by touching and interacting with the “…475 interactive exhibits, displays and artworks that are currently on view”. The various hands-on exhibits study the fields of biology, physics, listening, cognition, and visual perception in a very unique way and in captivating presentations.
Even if one is not born with the ‘science gene’, a visit to the Exploratorium might just awaken your natural sense of curiosity and make you not want to leave this interactive museum. We spent almost a full day here and still felt there was so much more we needed to see.
And there will be even more to explore, learn and see in the near future. The Exploratorium is moving and will have a new home by spring 2013. The new space on Pier 15 will house a nine-acre campus right on San Francisco’s historic Embarcadero.
Information for your next visit:
- Tickets are $25 for adults, $19 for youth and children under 5 years of age are free.
- First Wednesdays of the month are free.
- Location: 3601 Lyon Street, San Francisco, CA 94123
Posted in Attractions & Events, CA For Kids, Education, Fun For Kids - Kinderecke, Life in California
Tagged Deutsches Museum, Exploratorium, Frank Oppenheimer, Germans in California, Golden Gate Park, Interactive science museum, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco
Image via Wikipedia
January 5th in 1933 marked the day when construction for the Golden Gate Bridge began. Five years later on May 27, 1937 the Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic and became a world known landmark.
“May 27, 2012 marks 75 years for the Golden Gate Bridge and a wonderful opportunity to recognize the history, beauty, and ingenuity of this famous span…” (GodenGateBridge75.org) San Francisco is getting ready for the 75th anniversary celebrations.
The two-day Golden Gate Festival, from May 26-27, 2012 will recall and tell the story of the bridge. If you like to see what kind of activities are planned or want to read up on the Golden Gate history, or read about some fun facts, check out these links: Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary & Golden Gate Bridge Research Library.
Take a virtual walk over the Golden Gate, in case you are not in San Francisco…
It’s always fun to travel up north and visit San Francisco, but also nearby Berkeley is an adventure. We love to visit Berkeley. The town is full of life but different from what one expects from cities like San Francisco. Here at Berkeley, controversy lies in the air. One can practically feel the pulsating discussions about ideas that might one day change the world and the rebellious attitude towards pressing political questions affecting the nation but also the world.
Not pretty at first sight perhaps, Berkeley seems to be a bit run down almost reflecting the present state of American economy with homeless people making their way through the streets asking for a bit of support to meet living expenses. But allowing yourself to dive into the mentality of the town and breathing in the politically charged air, Berkeley grows on you and you will love it for what it represents. It’s an intellectually charged place where even the homeless guy at the corner recites his own poetry on “Weltschmerz” or joins in a heated political discussion.
Sure enough also this time we witnessed a friendly demonstration against Wall Street. Since it was Homecoming weekend and the football game of the Cal Bears versus the USC Trojans had just taken place, quite a few USC students were in town representing the more conservative standpoint on political views. Dressed in suits and formal gowns, they were carrying signs that read, “I love capitalism”. I must admit their group stood there a bit forlorn and some onlooker just shouted at them “Go back home…!”
The end of our weekend trip marked a visit to the new California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. What a fantastic museum! It’s impressive how the museum combines a natural history museum, an aquarium and a planetarium all under one roof. And what a roof this is! It’s a living roof with 2,5 acres of native California plants that provide insulation and it “…reduces the urban heat island effect. …It features an expansive solar canopy, an extensive water reclamation system, and walls insulated with recycled blue jeans!” This is sustainable design and green architecture right at its best, and “…it just may be the greenest museum on the planet.”
Enjoy impressions of a weekend trip to Berkeley & San Francisco…
Posted in Attractions & Events, Life in California, LifeStyle
Tagged Berkeley, Berkley Art Museum, California Academy of Sciences, California Golden Bears, Chinatown, German expats, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, University of California Berkeley