How Uncertain Times Led A Transit Enthusiast To Fair
Jeff Garver Got Around for 8 Years Using the Metro and Ridesharing. Then COVID-19 Hit.
Living in traditionally traffic-choked Los Angeles, Jeff Garver is something of an anomaly, getting around the city for much of the last decade via a stitched-together system of biking, ridesharing and the Metro.
But with L.A. in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that solution became increasingly unfeasible as the situation began to escalate. So last month, Garver used Fair to do something he had long resisted: get a car.
Fair recently spoke with Garver, 35, about his no-frills transportation needs, the moment he decided to make the change, and why Fair’s flexible model ended up being the right choice for him during this period of uncertainty.
FAIR: Thanks for speaking with us. First thing’s first: Why did you go without a car for so long?
JEFF GARVER: I don't have anything against cars, but I didn't really need one. After all, why pay for gas and repairs if you don't have to? When I would go visit my girlfriend who lived in a different part of town, I would just ride my bike and then get on the Metro.
FAIR: Do you remember when you decided it might be time to get a car?
JG: Oh, yes. I was riding the Metro one Sunday and it was pretty cramped. COVID-19 was starting to be a thing and was only going to get more serious, so I was like, “This is not going to work. I think I'm done here. I need to do something today.” Public transportation and even ridesharing just became untenable.
FAIR: Right. And how did you hear about Fair?
JG: Actually, one of my coworkers had told me about it previously, along with some apps that do car-sharing. So I texted her and said, “What were some of those car apps you've mentioned before?” She brought up Fair, so I started looking at it.
I don't know much at all about car-buying. And going to a dealership to do a test drive is just not happening right now. But Fair was pretty user-friendly. I think all I did was put some information in and take a picture of my driver's license when I was getting ready to check out. I was looking for a sedan-type car and there were several options that were relatively close to where I live in Burbank.
I ended up pulling the trigger on a Passat and was scheduled to pick it up that Monday after work. But then someone from Fair called me and said, “The dealership is actually shortening its hours, so we need to arrange a new time for you.” So I ended up being able to pick it up the very next afternoon. It was all really quick.
FAIR: That’s good to hear. And what are you using your Fair car for mainly?
JG: I’m working from home now, but I still need a car for other things. It’s almost like a security thing for me right now. I have this car if I need it, and I can drive it to my girlfriend’s if I need to. I can do whatever I need to. That's how I’m looking at it.
And with Fair being more of a month-to-month thing, I can reassess the situation later if I need to. That's why, for me, it was literally the right thing at the right time. I wanted to be able to get a car quickly and I wanted to do all of it on my phone. It was definitely like, “I need to do this now, so what's the best way I can do it?” And Fair met that criteria.
FAIR: And was the process as simple as you thought?
JG: Yeah, it was. Fair has good customer service that let me know about the dealership closure by calling me, and not just sending me a notification. If anyone is looking to get a car quickly and efficiently, then Fair could definitely help them out.
FAIR: Any idea how long you’re going to have your Fair car?
JG: I will have my Fair car – a sweet, sweet champagne Passat – until at least August. I'll reassess then.