Car share a viable transportation option?
Oct 18, 2013 / 5:00 pm
Original story published Aug 7, 2013
As little as 18 months ago the idea of a community car share co-op was just an idea, now it has officially become a reality.
Members, partners and seed funders of the Okanagan Care Share Co-op (OGO) gathered downtown on Wednesday to unveil the first two vehicles and revel in the success that began over a cup of coffee between Christian Brandt and Angela Nagy.
“My personal interest was to apply my passion for sustainable transportation to make a positive impact in this community, and together we thought it would be a great idea to start up a car-share cooperative, and now we’re here,” says Brandt.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the support of our members who believed in this project before there were cars on the road or even a website.”
With the help of Urban Systems, Interior Savings, Community Futures, The Co-operators and the Central Okanagan Foundation, the group has a Toyota Prius and a Nissan Versa. The cars will be based in downtown Kelowna, near the Queensway bus loop and in the Pandosy area.
“As our city grows and we have a higher density, it’s becoming more viable to have the co-op car share program,” explained Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country, who also announced almost $30,000 in funding to help the program get off the ground.
Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray also agreed that a car share co-op makes good economic sense for the community.
“While it may be a little naive in a community like ours where 43 per cent of our land mass is caught up in agricultural land, we have unfortunately become very car centric,” he says.
“In fact, we could very well be the most car centric city in all of Canada. So if this car share program is going to have any success at all, Kelowna is the place it should succeed.”
Aside from businesses that have gotten on board with the OGO car share, individuals like Jenica Frisque have also signed up.
“I ride my bike and I walk just about everywhere or take the bus and I wanted to have an option for those time when I had to drive or pick up someone from the airport, without having the burden of ownership,” she said.
“So when the care share got started, I thought this is perfect and a great fit.”
The next step for OGO will be to gain new members and expand the program into more neighbourhoods around Kelowna.
Anyone interested in becoming part of the OGO car share co-op can find more information on the groups website.
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