In today’s episode, I talk about carsharing, what it is, and whether it is the right decision for you. Along with being a financial burden and stress, car ownership contributes to environmental degradation. To illustrate the benefits of carsharing and the co-operative model, we look at a case study of one such organization, Peg City Car Co-op, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a member, I have already reaped countless rewards. First, I talk to Philip Mikulec, Peg City’s Operations Manager, who sheds light on the co-op model, how it differs from the for-profit structure, and some of the most common benefits he has heard members talking about. Next, I then chat with Beth McKechnie, a Co-Founder of Peg City and a member of the Sustainable Transport Team at the Green Action Centre. In this segment of the conversation, we talk about why they decided to start a carsharing co-op in Winnipeg, why carsharing is not about discouraging car usage, and what factors need to be in place to make this type of rental model world. Lastly, Dayna Kroeker, President of the Peg City Board of Directors, joins us. We talk about what drew her to the carsharing co-op structure, the increased flexibility she now has when choosing a mode of transport, and the major lessons she has learned from part of a co-op.
Key Points From This Episode:
- Defining the concept of carsharing and how it differs from ridesharing and ride-hailing.
- The origins of carsharing, starting in Switzerland in 1987 and its subsequent spread across the world.
- How a carsharing co-op works and what membership fees typically give you access to.
- The voting and decision-making power that co-op members have.
- Peg City's fleet size and current user numbers.
- Hear about the technicalities, like gaining access to cars, fees, and refueling.
- How carsharing is similar to but still different from the standard car rental model.
- Peg City's maintenance schedule and how they encourage members to clean the cars.
- The various benefits that those who utilize carsharing gain.
- Peg City's founding story and the impetus for starting the organization in Winnipeg.
- There are a host of benefits of being a member of a car co-op or carshare organization. The cost benefits include only pay for a vehicle when you need and no incidental car ownership fees.
- Car co-ops make vehicle access available to more people through increased affordability.
- Environmental benefits of a car co-op include shortening travel distances and decreasing air pollution by reducing car ownership.
- Carsharing also increases our use of active transportation, like walking and public transit.
- The reduced stress that comes with not having to own a car if you have access through a co-op.
- If you are looking to start a carsharing co-op in your own city, find like-minded individuals, make sure you have access to insurance, and partner with your local municipality. And be prepared to work hard!
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Peg City Car Co-op
'Peer-to-peer car-sharing is here to stay'
'Impact of Carsharing on Household Vehicle Holdings'