KAMLOOPS - One of the biggest car sharing services is coming to Kamloops.
Sustainability director Jim Gudjonson says Zipcar will be locating two cars at Thompson Rivers University. The pair of Hyundai Elantras will arrive tomorrow, Jan. 6, and be available starting Monday, Jan. 9,
“I think the students are going to be the dominant users,” he says. “It’s open to faculty, staff, and greater community as well.”
The cars will be available to people who pay the annual fee of $20. Once they’re booked via an app and an hourly fee of around $8 is charged, depending on the vehicle. Zipcar deals with costs like maintenance, fuel and insurance.
The cars will help students the most, he says, with people living on campus having the opportunity for freer movement for things like shopping. One car will also have a ski rack, for day trips up to Sun Peaks, and flat fees for overnight or full days means weekend trips are also possible.
If the service is popular in Kamloops, Gudjonson says more cars will be sent. He expects there to be six to eight cars based here within a couple of months and thinks a couple more hubs could be established in different areas around the city. Currently the cars will be Elantras, but Toyota Priuses may arrive in the future.
While the two cars will be the first public car share program in the city, Zipcar isn’t all that new. The company has been around since 2000, has over a million customers world wide and is used on 500 campuses. If the cars are popular here, more can be added from a different city, like Vancouver, and if it gets slow, like during summer break, they can be sent somewhere else.
Gudjonson expects the cars to be popular with younger people in particular and says there are statistics showing 30 per cent of people under the age of 20 in urban areas don’t expect to own a vehicle. International students will be able to use the service as well as long as they have a licence approved for B.C. roads.
The cars and service will be run by Zipcar, but the university will help manage the vehicles locally.
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