The Peterborough Examiner
February 5, 2013
By: Rob McCormick

Information sessions will be held Thursday on Community CarShare, a non-profit co-operative that offers members access to a fleet of vehicles as an alternative to car ownership.

The sessions will be held from 3 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m. at the Peterborough Public Library on Aylmer St.

The co-operative, formed in 1998, wants to expand beyond Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton. Peterborough is among the markets it is considering.

The goal is to sign up 100 members and have the local program up and running by spring, said Brianna Salmon, manager of transportation for Peterborough Green-Up, which is helping promote the project.

“It’s an information session and membership drive,” she said. “There will be a representative from the Community CarShare organization who will answer questions, explain the program and membership options.”

Members pay a flat rate, monthly or yearly, plus hourly and per-kilometre usage fees that cover insurance, gas and maintenance costs. A typical member would pay roughly $6 to $7 an hour to drive, including the flat rate and usage fees, CarShare has said.

So far, about 35 members have signed up, Salmon said. As well, she said, the city is considering a corporate membership, and staff have put forward a proposal that will go to council in the next few weeks.

“Some organizations have a very high per-kilometre reimbursement rate,” she said, “so for those types of companies there is a real incentive to discourage driving your automobile. For them, a corporate membership in CarShare is a really good option.”

Green-Up is behind the project because it has the potential to help reduce the number of cars on the road, Salmon said.

“One of the reasons we are trying to encourage car sharing is to decrease auto ownership” she said. “When people own a vehicle, it’s very easy for that to become the default mode of transportation, and there’s not a lot of thought that goes into selecting a mode. With a program like CarShare, you don’t take away the option of using a vehicle, but you do require that it be an active rather than a default decision. Overall, programs like this have encouraged multi-modal travel.”

Salmon said she is “fairly confident” the project will get off the ground here.

“We became interested in it because there did seem to be a demand, and we heard from a number of people that it’s the type of service they would like to see in the community. I think the motivation for establishing a program here was grounded in community interest, and so for that reason I am fairly confident we will manage to get the requisite number of members.”