Easy fleet: CarShareHFX comes to campus for its fourth anniversary
Lena Betker - February 15, 2013
CarShareHFX has seen a great deal of growth since its launch in 2009. The local company now has a fleet of 21 cars dispersed around HRM, including two on Dal’s campuses thanks to a new partnership with the university.
At an event on campus to mark the company’s fourth birthday last month, Rochelle Owen, director of Dal’s Office of Sustainability, spoke about the potential of the partnership.
“People can use the car share for meetings that are a little outside the downtown, and now that we’ve merged with the Agricultural College, it’s a real viable option for our employees to ride share to meetings at the Truro campus.”
While Dal previously had an arrangement with another provider, the university recently adopted CarShare which offers the advantage of an entire fleet of cars within minutes of Dal’s Halifax campuses.
A city where the car is secondary
Nearly 200 students, faculty, government officials and community members attended the birthday event, which included a keynote address from Tim Papandreou, deputy director of sustainable streets of San Francisco. The topic: how cities can create transit systems that move people in more efficient and effective ways.
“People by definition are multi-modal, and are really moving away from discussion of, ‘I’m a pedestrian,’ ‘I’m a cyclist,’ ‘I’m a motorist,’ ‘I’m a transit rider,’ instead [to] ‘What are we all?’” he asked. “We’re all people. ‘What do we want to do?’ We want to get around the city.”
“At the end of the day, we’re not here to create a better transit system, we’re here to create a better city,” he added.
That sentiment is reflected in the mandate of CarShareHFX, and is at the core of all its initiatives.
“Our vision is to have a city designed in a way where the car is the last resort,” said Pam Cooley, president of CarShareHFX. “Then if you’re going to use the car, use it in a way that is economical, both environmentally as well as financially. Use the car efficiently. Car sharing, ride sharing and car pooling — we can create systems in which that can work.”
A new option for Dal employees
The Dalhousie agreement with CarShareHFX allows departments to sign up for workplace memberships so that employees can make use of the vehicles for work-related local travel. It also offers special rates for longer trips, such as to the Agricultural Campus. Cars can be reserved and picked up 24 hours a day, and the membership includes insurance, maintenance, and parking.
The on-campus cars are located beside the Grad House on LeMarchant Street and by the Dentistry Building on Carleton Campus.
CarShareHFX memberships for individuals (which includes use of the cars on Dalhousie’s campuses) are also available.
Into the future, Cooley said she hopes to see CarShareHFX double its fleet each year, and make it easier for people to share, rather than own, a car.
“Right now, you can apply online, but soon you’ll be able to do your orientation online,” she explained. “[We want you to] feel part of a community of people that are changing the world – one car at a time.”
Next week, the Office of Sustainability is hosting three open sessions about CarShareHFX. Drop by and learn more:
- Monday, February 18, 9:30 am -10:30 am, Room 1107 of the Mona Campbell Building
- Wednesday, February, 20 11:00-12:00 in the Faculty of Medicine Deans Council Room, CRC building
- Friday, February 22, 9:00-10:00 Room HB2 of the Ralph Medjuck Building
For more, visit the Ride Share page on the SmartTrip Dalhousie website.
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