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Development, master plan driving growth of Nanaimo CarShare

A new development and transportation master plan could fuel growth of Nanaimo CarShare, according to a member of the cooperative.

Nanaimo’s car sharing not-for-profit has new deals in the works to expand its presence, from roaming agreements to the addition of vehicles to its fleet. It’s also been included as part of the new Transportation Master Plan, which calls for the city to continue to support car share programs as a transportation option for residents.

The latest developments have Ian Gartshore, a member of the cooperative’s board of directors, believing it’s only a matter of time before more people use the service and the organization takes off.

“Really it’s in its infancy,” Gartshore said of the car share. “When it takes off like [car-share in] Victoria and ... like Vancouver have taken off you will see lots of cars everywhere.”

The Nanaimo CarShare started in 2010, with 10 members sharing one vehicle. Four years later it has two cars, an  estimated 40 users and plans for expansion.

The organization allows members to self-book vehicles in the Harbour City. New roaming agreements could put them behind the wheel of vehicles in Victoria and the Sunshine Coast. A hospital-area developer also plans to purchase two new cars for the fleet.

Currently shared cars are only available in the downtown core.

“It’s been slow and now suddenly yes, we were actually mentioned in the official city transportation plan and we have been working very hard with all kinds of shareholders, of interested parties to see how we can all save money and become more sustainable in the city,” Gartshore said.

For more information, please visit www.nanaimocarshare.ca.

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