Car share company GoGet will offer residents of City West Housing (CWH) in Sydney a discounted service as its service continues to expand nationally.
The company reports that its business is growing healthily in most cities (apart from Perth), with developers now almost routinely including car share spaces in new developments.
In the community housing sector, the company is looking to expand its discounted rate offer for residents into other locations.
CWH chief executive officer Leonie King says City West Housing residents may not be able to afford a car, nor expensive taxis, to pick up groceries or visit a doctor, so car sharing, at a reduced rate, is one solution.
Residents will not pay the upfront costs membership that other customers do but will still pay the usual usage fee, of about $6.35 an hour including petrol, registration, insurance, repairs, cleaning and parking.
“Car sharing programs like GoGet allow people to drive when they need to without the financial burden and hassle of car ownership and city parking,” King says.
The car share company’s head of locations and partnerships Christopher Vanneste says that many community housing residents only need a car for emergency situations, and that car share removes the financial barrier.
He told The Fifth Estate it took a while to understand the needs of the residents. Although one-year memberships were initially suggested, CWH actually has a lot of longer-term residents, so it made sense to provide unlimited memberships.
It was also important to get the network coverage right, he says, so that the service meets expectations.
There are parking pods an average of 280 metres from most CWH buildings but the long term plan is to get approval for car share parking spaces in front of, on site, or very near every CWH property.
The car sharing company is already thinking about expanding the model to other community housing providers, and potentially making it core service.
It has launched several interesting partnerships, including with IKEA to use its cars to return used furniture in exchange for a voucher. University students can also secure discounted memberships to pick up furniture before their study starts.
Developers now want car share spaces onsite
Vanneste says the car share business, which has a presence in every Australian city apart from Perth, is growing healthily. In the past, car share spaces were forced onto developers through decreased parking ratios or other policy but now, developers want car share spots for added amenity.
“They are embracing it as a sales tool.”
It’s also now common for car share spots to be conditions for new development, he says.
The company is also looking to retrofit more car share spots onto existing sites, with most going into new builds at the moment.
According to the company’s data, for every one GoGet car on the road another 10 cars are removed from the road, leading to less congestion, reduced emissions and better air quality.
The switch to car sharing rather than ownership can save on average more than $4000 annually, the company claims. Most car share drivers also drive 50 per cent less than car owners because they tend to be more strategic and get more done each trip.