The newly formed Coast Car Co-op is on a roll to get 50 start-up members by the end of December. The Co-op is working with Community Futures and the Sunshine Coast Credit Union to gain financing to put the first three cars on the road in February 2014.
At a membership event held on December 4 at Wheatberries in Gibsons, the Co-op presented their plan for a car co-op on the Sunshine Coast. Coasters can join the Co-op for a one-time refundable membership fee of $400 and a $25 registration fee. Members will be able to reserve a car online booking their hours or days in 30 minute intervals.
The cost for car sharing is currently set at $5 per hour of use plus 45 cents per Km. for the first 50 Km. After 50 Km. the rate is 25 cents per Km.
There is also a business membership available for $800 with up to 8 drivers plus $25 registration fee for each driver. At the event Wheatberries joined as the first business membership. Wheatberries has already installed an EV charging station at their Gibsons shop on Hwy. 101.
Initally three cars, a sedan, a van and a hybrid vehicle are planned for upper and lower Gibsons. A truck and an EV (electric vehicle) are in the planning along with adding Roberts Creek and Sechelt in 2014 based on additional members. The goal is to have Co-op cars all the way up to Egmont. As pointed out by Johan Stroman, Co-op executive director, the more people who join, the more cars they can have available. The car co-op needs around 25 drivers per month per car to operate. If there are enough people who join in an area then a car will be located there. Stroman says that if you drive under 8,000 Km. per year it is to your advantage to join the Co-op and save money by not owning a car. Depending on your current vehicle, you could save as much as $10,000 per year.
Advantages pointed out at the meeting are that you do not have any car or insurance payments and no maintenance or fuel costs. Besides these financial advantages, there is also the ecological one of not adding another personal car to the road and the social side of being a co-op member. Co-op members will have full voting rights in the co-operative.
Members will have a key fob that can be activated after they reserve a car online. They will simply go to the car, activate it with the electronic fob and drive away. When they return the car they will lock and leave it.
An announcement by MODO, a car co-op in Vancouver caused a lot of excitement. MODO will have at least one car in Horseshoe Bay that will be available to Coast Car Co-op members. A member will be able to walk on the ferry and pick up their car in Horseshoe Bay for mainland trips. The car will then be returned to Horseshoe Bay and they can walk on the ferry for the return trip to the Sunshine Coast, thereby saving the cost of the car ferry fee.
Car Co-op members will be able to car share with other co-ops in BC and even internationally. There are over 300 cars available in Vancouver.
The eligibility criteria for drivers include:
- be at least 19 years old
- hold a valid BC drivers license
- at least three years driving history with no at fault accidents or no more than one at fault accident if you have ICBC safe driver discount of at least 35%
- no more than three traffic violations in the past five years
- no driving convictions under the Canadian Criminal Code or serious violations of any provincial driving legislation such as the Motor Vehicle Act.
To join now go to: join the co-op
Car Co-op board members include: Don Brewster, Denise Pritchard and Bruce Devereaux.