Following a Canadian tradition of carsharing, Hamilton residents have come together to add the service to the city's transportation mix.
By Janet MacLeod
Published May 01, 2009
Hamilton CarShare, the city's first carsharing co-operative, will officially launch this weekend at the annual MayDay Street Festival on Saturday, May 2, held on King William St, (between James St. N and Hughson St. N.) from 11am-11pm.
Following a Canadian tradition of carsharing (there are carsharing organizations in Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax to name a few), Hamilton residents have come together to add the service to the city's transportation mix.
Hamilton CarShare was formed in late April in cooperation with Grand River CarShare of Waterloo Region, which has been serving that area for 11 years. Hamilton residents decided to work with Grand River CarShare to accelerate the introduction of carshare vehicles onto their streets. The non-profit co-operative will initially place three vehicles in the community for shared use.
"Combining an enthusiastic group of new members in Hamilton with more than a decade of experience in Waterloo Region, we are expecting Hamilton CarShare to be very successful early on," Jason Hammond, President of the co-operative, said.
"With the recession hitting hard and continuing deep concern for our climate, carsharing is an idea whose time has come for Hamilton."
What has transformed into Hamilton CarShare started as a project between Green Venture, Clean Air Hamilton and First Unitarian Church two months ago, and a dedicated group of Hamilton residents have formed the basis of the Hamilton co-operative.
“It's moving so quickly because people are working together and everyone is contributing their skill set, and that's what a co-operative is,” Sapphire Singh, CarShare Project Coordinator at Green Venture, said.
Carsharing co-operatives operate a fleet of vehicles available to members on self-serve pay-per-use basis. Reservations for carshare vehicles can be made for as little as 30 minutes, or as long as needed. Members are billed monthly for insurance and vehicle use, and gas and vehicle maintenance costs are included in the co-op's rates.
Carsharing is a new link in Hamilton's urban transportation system—it's a great alternative to owning your own vehicle, helps households save money on transportation costs, and helps improve air quality through reduced tailpipe emissions.
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