Communal cars on horizon for Kamloops?

Lots offering car share vehicles like this one could soon be seen in Kamloops if Coun. Arjun Singh has his way.
Image Credit: SOURCE/car2go

KAMLOOPS – A car share program has a lot of potential in Kamloops, according to Coun. Arjun Singh, and he will be presenting a 'car sharing 101' information session to the community this Thursday to gauge interest.

The idea of having a car share program came out of the Idea Festival Singh hosted earlier this year and now he wants to show the community what the program could look like and find out what type of questions and concerns potential users have with the idea.

“Instead of buying a whole car, you only pay when you need it,” Singh says. “You don't have access 24-7 though, you have to plan better.”

The idea of having quality vehicles, maintained by the co-operative, should hold appeal for the many people who do not have access to vehicles, or quality vehicles, Singh says. He believes the financial and environmental benefits are both things that will appeal to people.

“I drive more than I used to, but it still sits there half the time,” he says of his limited vehicle use.

In Vancouver there are currently about 800 cars among three car share programs, car2go, zipcar and modo, and each offers a variety of different services to users. Rates range from free casual membership to the purchase of a $500 share. Usage rates vary and some memberships offer discounted rates and each company has different rules around refueling as well. A variety of different types of vehicles are offered through the programs, including electric vehicles, cars, premium cars and even trucks.

Singh has looked at these programs, as well as ones offered in the United States, and says the uptake on the program has been great in urban centres. Areas where lots of multi-family units exist in Kamloops, such as Downtown, Brocklehurst and Lower Sahali, all offer a prime opportunity.

Singh also would like to look at the possibility of offering a truck share program, which would offer an alternative for people looking to move or haul things.

“A truck share, it's a dumb, easy thing,” he says.

Rental companies do offer a service that is good for longer-term options, Singh says, but for a more casual user, a car share program would usually offer a better price and flexibility.

While the program is just in the conceptual stage, he sees the possibility in offering access to car shares in hub locations, like near transit exchanges. He would also like the city to consider using city fleet in a car share program, as other cities have done, though he has yet to actually discuss the idea with anyone at the city, he admits.

Singh hopes an information meeting at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Frankly Coffee on Lansdowne Street will garner enough interest in the program to give it serious thought. He hopes to at least get enough interest to form a steering committee.

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

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