CarShare program launches at Guelph
May 02, 2013 - News Release
A new car share program in Guelph could benefit the University of Guelph community and the entire city, say the program’s proponents.
The Community CarShare program, a co-op that allows people to rent cars for minimal cost, began May 2 in Guelph, with an official launch scheduled next week. Four cars will be parked in reserved spots on campus. The parking spaces will be the University’s only contribution to the program.
Participants will pay a yearly registration fee. They can then rent a car online for an hourly cost for insurance and gas. The program is open to licensed drivers 21 and older.
Ian Weir, manager of Parking Services and Transportation Planning, says the program could help reduce the number of cars on campus while offering people more transportation flexibility.
“We had looked into it in years past, but the cost was too high until now,” said Weir. “We’re trying to get people out of cars. It saves them the cost of owning their own car, reduces congestion, is cheaper and easier than renting from an agency, and, if it proves successful, could potentially reduce the need for us to build more parking lots. It can be used for everything from shopping trips to visiting family and friends out of town, and for much more.”
The cars – all five-passenger automatics -- will be parked in dedicated spots on campus (lots P31 on South Ring Rd. and P23 on CollegeAve.) and will be available to anyone who registers with the co-op, said Maurice Nelischer, U of G’s Director for Sustainability. The City of Guelph will also reserve spots downtown.
If demand increases, the co-op plans to purchase more vehicles.
“This is open to anyone who needs to use a car, whether for a couple hours to get groceries, or for a full day,” Nelischer said. “We do expect that there will be a demand for using the car from students, faculty and staff. The car share program is huge in bigger cities such as Toronto, but it has also worked successfully in smaller cities such as Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton and Cambridge.”
Vehicles may be reserved on the spot using smart phones, and a member’s card allows access immediately.
“This is an extremely convenient and efficient way for people to have the convenience they need in owning a car without having to buy one, with the benefits of lower costs and helping the environment,” said Nelischer. “We expect to see more and more people making use of this service, and it will lead some people to think about whether they need to bring a car onto campus.”
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