The following article appeared in the Spring 2014 edition of the Gorge Tillicum Neighbourhood Association’s Newsletter.
Do you want to save money, protect the environment, build a stronger community, and enhance your personal mobility? If you do, you might want to join the Victoria Car Share Co-op.
Membership in the Car Share offers a number of benefits:
- You get access to a large fleet of different kinds of vehicles, so you can drive one of those cute Fiats one day and use the pickup truck for hauling furniture the next.
- Rather than paying for large “sunk costs” like insurance and registration, only to leave your car parked most of the day, with car sharing you only pay for the cars when you’re using them. This can reduce your costs by thousands of dollars a year.
- By encouraging you to use more sustainable transportation options more of the time, while allowing you to use a car when you really need to, car sharing can help reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
- Because members spend more time walking in our neighbourhood and cooperating to provide public goods, car sharing can help enhance our community well-being.
Since car sharing also tends to benefit other drivers by reducing congestion, it’s in everyone’s interest to have a co-op car in the neighbourhood. Getting a car in the neighbourhood, preferably in a central location near Pearkes Arena, is a goal supported by the GTCA Board. It would also help support the Sustainable Saanich Official Community Plan, which includes encouragement for Co-op cars.
Because each car has to be self-supporting through members’ use fees, there has to be a sufficient density of members in a neighbourhood before the Co-op will consider placing a car here. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough members of the Co-op living in Gorge-Tillicum for them to justify placing a car here. It’s the old “chicken-and-the-egg” problem – without enough members, there will be no Co-op car in the neighbourhood; without a Co-op car in the neighbourhood, there are fewer people who are willing to join the Co-op.
There are a couple of ways you can help:
- If you’re interested in joining the Co-op, you can find out how to do so at VictoriaCarShare.ca. There are a number of low-cost membership options that you might qualify for.
- If you’re not ready to join right away, but think that having a car in the neighbourhood would benefit the community or make it easier for you to join later, you can fill in the Car Request Form. That will let the Co-op know that there are people interested in having a car nearby.