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They Aren’t Bumper Cars, But They Are a Tourism Alternative

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

by Max Allen

If you are a Point Loma local, you most likely have seen a GoCar- small, yellow, three-wheeled vehicle that is puttering around the Peninsula. Made for two, the cars have controls like motorcycles and are audio-guided tours that are purchased per location. Downtown, The Gaslamp District, Old Town, Balboa Park, and Point Loma are locations where tours are available, although some users choose to leave the beaten path, which can be done. However, the audio track ceases once the car leaves the route, and highways are a no-go.

They seem entertaining enough and have been around since 2004, when they launched in San Francisco before becoming available in San Diego and Miami. Somewhat later, about ten years ago, they expanded their services to cities in Europe. But GoCar hasn’t been used enough to be widely noticeable until the beginning of COVID. A GoCar employee commented on the increase, with regards to the question, “Have you gotten more tourists using the service since COVID?” by saying, “Well right now we’re slowing down because of winter but I would say we’re probably the #1 business right now because of COVID and we’re a really social distanced activity.”

Tourism has not ceased and San Diego is still accessible by road, often getting visitors from the LA area looking forward to attractions such as the San Diego Zoo or Sea World. Due to the shutdowns and added regulations, even places that are open do not present the same experience as before. However, GoCar has stayed more or less the same, causing tourists traveling to San Diego to switch to GoCar.


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