A new report shows residents and small businesses in Sydney overwhelmingly support the growth of car sharing in the city.
The City of Sydney’s new car share policy was recently on public exhibition and of the 274 submissions received, 98 per cent supported plans to triple membership of car share companies to reduce traffic congestion and on-street parking demand.
“Car share is a great option for people who don’t want the added costs of a new car but who still need a vehicle to get around,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“The popularity of car share in Sydney is helping to ease congestion and reduce air pollution by reducing the number of cars on the roads – drivers only use the cars when and if they need them.
“Car share membership in the City of Sydney has risen by more than 1,000 in the last five months and is now approaching 6,000, including hundreds of local businesses.
“We want to increase car share membership to 15,000 members or almost one in 10 City households by 2016 – and extend car share parking spaces to new residential and commercial developments and carparks.”
The Lord Mayor said one car share vehicle can replace up to ten private vehicles.
“Our car share trial began in 2007 and has contributed to around 550 fewer cars on City streets, which helps free up our roads for those who do need to drive,” the Lord Mayor said.
“Sydney roads are already congested and heading toward gridlock and if nothing changes, it will only get worse as more people move in to the City. Congestion is not only costing us billions but it is distressing for the people who do need to drive.
It’s why at the City we are taking practical action.
“By promoting car share and bike riding as options for people who live close to the city centre we are working to ease congestion and making a positive impact on the environment.
“I’m pleased to see that city residents are enthusiastically bike riding around the city and car share memberships also increasing.”
Gina Machado, who runs real estate buyers agency finderskeepers.com.au, in Surry Hills, said car share helped her business reduce costs by 45 per cent by offloading one of the company’s vehicles.
“We use car share up to three times a week. It has dramatically reduced our fixed costs. It’s good for the environment and good for the viability of small businesses like ours,” said Ms Machado.
Kathy Phelan, director of Small World Social, a social media consultancy in Glebe, said car share enabled her business, which operates in Victoria and NSW, to cut transport costs by 60 percent.
‘Car share is more cost effective than having your own cars to run. We’ve always been able to find a car within walking distance when we needed it,” Ms Phelan said.
Car share members are able to book, online or by telephone, a car parked near where they live, on an hourly or a daily rate. They use a swipe card to access the vehicle which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The City has installed more than 190 dedicated on street car share spaces for the three private companies operating the schemes. Car hire company Hertz recently took over the operations of FlexiCar, and CharterDrive has been relaunched as
GreenShareCar. GoGet remains Sydney’s largest car-share operator with more than 10 000 members across the metropolitan area.
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