Tech Transition: How to Use New Tech

Many of you have made reservations, drove a car, or set up your account in our new software this week – login in here or pre-register here to see what the buzz is about!


You may have noticed that your favorite car is not available, and we apologize for the delay. We’re still working on getting the fleet up to its full capacity, but more cars are being added every day that are equipped with our brand new in-car technology!


Here’s what you’ll need to know about using the new technology.


If you want the short version, check out the How to Use HOURCAR page on our website! Keep reading if you want more details about what is the same and what is new.


What is the same?

  • Service is still round trip for now, meaning you’ll find cars at designated hubs in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities and cars must be returned to the same hub you picked up from! 
  • In order to access a car, you still have to make a reservation in advance (even if just a few minutes in advance), and you still have the option of doing that yourself or calling us for assistance at 612.343.2277 
  • You still must return the car before your reservation end time, and you can still call us for assistance if you are running late! 
  • Always end your trip with the app or with your GoTo card. DO NOT lock the doors manually. Ending your trip with the app or with a long swipe (3-4 seconds) of your card will lock the doors, and the lights on the reader will show green and orange.


And more – we still pay for gas, we still provide a shovel and extra wiper fluid in the winter, and we still are available 24 hours a day for assistance just to name a few. For all the information you need as a member, we recommend you review our Member Handbook.


What is new?

Using the HOURCAR app is the recommended way to access vehicles and make reservations! You can still use your Metro Transit GoTo card as well, just stick to one access method for your entire trip.


Swiping in and out – card reader vs *NEW* HOURCAR App 

  • New way to swipe in and out – each trip requires you to use EITHER the new HOURCAR app OR your Metro Transit GoTo card. You can also still call us for a remote swipe! We recommend for every trip you stick to the same access method throughout your trip, and do not use multiple swipe methods for each trip.
  • Pausing your trip during stopovers to activate stopover rate – trips now include a cost-saving measure called stopover rate, when the car is parked and in stopover mode. While you’re at your appointment or doing your shopping, you pay a lower hourly rate as long as you pause your trip to engage stopover mode. You can pause the trip via the app or with a short swipe of your Metro Transit GoTo card (1-2 seconds) on the reader. 
  • Long swipe vs short swipe – if you are using your Metro Transit GoTo card instead of the app to access your reservations you’ll have to use a long swipe of 4-5 seconds to swipe in to start your trip and to swipe out to end the trip, and use a short swipe of 1-2 seconds to pause your trip on a stopover, engaging the stopover rate. 
  • Ending your trip – when you’re ready to end your trip, make sure you tap “finish trip” in the app, or use a long swipe of 4-5 seconds to end your trip at the card reader. Please note that simply closing the app or doing a short swipe will not end your trip. Do NOT lock the doors manually, ending your trip will send a lock command to the car.  


Car Keys Located in Glovebox Holder instead of Keypad 

  • Using the new Vubox technology to access car keys – car keys are located in a stationary holder inside the glove compartment that cannot be removed from the glovebox. You’ll simply pull firmly on the car keys to detach them, and a blue light will go on to indicate the car keys have been removed. At the end of your trip, insert the small black plug into the hole next to the blue light. The light will turn off to indicate the keys are returned. Failing to properly return the car keys by plugging them in will result in a failed trip end, so please make sure to return the keys properly! 
  • Gas Card slot – the gas card also belongs in the holder inside the glove compartment! Remove it from the slot when you need to fill the tank, then return it to either slot when you are done.  
  • If you run into any issues during your trip, we are still available 24/7 at 612.343.2277, and you can even call us directly from the app! 


Changes to Making Reservations 

  • Cancelling your trip – we are no longer charging cancellation fees, so you can cancel your trip at any time before the trip starts via the app, website, or calling us on the phone! You’ll still be billed for an unused trip if you do not cancel.  
  • Editing your trip – you can now extend your trips via our app and receive push notifications when your trip is reaching its end time. The key holder in the glovebox no longer has the ability to extend trips. Shortening trips is no longer an option, so if you need to change the reservation time, you’ll need to cancel the trip and re-make it, or give us a call for assistance.


Using the new software

Check out our instructions on how to use the app!


We know that there’s a bit of a learning curve to this new technology, and we hope that you agree with us that the changes are worth it!


HOURCAR Member Services