CONSUMERWATCH: Car-share program
Published Monday, September 19, 2011 11:53AM CST
It's been going on in cities all over the world and, in June, Winnipeg got its first car co-op.
One of the co-op's members, David Leibl, shares his car with about 60 other people that he doesn't even know.
"I'm going to run a few quick errands and use the car just when I need it and pay for the hours I need. (Then) return it and let someone else worry about it," he says.
Leibl books one of three vehicles available at two lots in Osborne village online whenever he needs it. He says, "It's nice to walk but it's nice to have access to a car. It's the best of both worlds."
Drivers in the co-op pay a $500 refundable membership fee, $25 to $35 in administration costs, a $3 booking fee and $3 per hour for a maximum of eight hours a day. Gas, insurance and maintenance is included.
Members are given a key fob that unlocks the car and stores their trip information. The co-op says on average, people pay $15 to $20 per trip.
At seven trips per month, car sharing would cost about $1,700 per year. CAA estimates ownership of a similar vehicle would be about $8,000 per year.
The co-op says it's not only drivers who are benefiting but the environment as well. Aaron Russin of Peg City Car Co-op explains, "There are 58 vehicles potentially off the road because of us." Russin adds one of the biggest challenges is teaching Winnipeggers car-sharing etiquette. Members are penalized for leaving the doors unlocked, the lights on or leaving trash on the floor.
For Leibl those risks are worth the thousands of dollars he's saving with the co-op. "When we need a car we have this. It's great," he says.
Right now it's easy for members to access a car but as the co-op grows, Russin admits it may have to expand. "We are still low on the usability side but once that becomes problematic we will start to add more cars. The co-op is also looking to expand beyond the village into other parts of the city.
For more information go to: http://winnipegcarshare.com
-With a report from CTV's Karen Rocznik