Nanaimo’s car share association growing

Just 12 weeks after the launch of its service, Nanaimo CarShare Cooperative welcomed its 20th member.

Just 12 weeks after the launch of its service, Nanaimo CarShare Cooperative welcomed its 20th member.

Protection Island resident Denise Bonin recently joined the non-profit association, whose members share the use of a 2009 Nissan Versa hatchback.

“Our family owns one car, but we need two on occasion. By joining Nanaimo CarShare, we avoid the huge cost of owning a second vehicle and, since we live on Protection, parking it in Nanaimo,” said Bonin.

The milestone is an important one for the co-operative, said Kurt Fischer, who along with Barbara Johnston and Louise Hamilton make up the group’s board of directors.

“Carsharing can be found in most large cities and many mid-sized cities in Canada and the U.S., and Nanaimo is showing that it works well here too,” said Fischer, who played a key role in the planning, launch and management of the 1,000-member Hourcar carsharing organization in Minnesota.

Nanaimo CarShare keeps its Versa at the south end of Port Place Mall downtown, a short walk from a well-served bus stop on Front Street and the Protection and Gabriola Island ferry terminals.

It’s popular with island residents who can avoid hefty vehicle ferry fares, ferry line-ups, and parking costs, when they come into the city. And even then, says Fischer, there is still plenty of prime time use available.

Consequently, Nanaimo CarShare members don’t use the Versa anywhere near as much as private car owners use their vehicles. That means the co-operative can accommodate many more members, he says. And as demand grows, the plan calls for a second car to be added to the duty roster.

For more information, please go to, phone 250-741-4141, or e-mail NanaimoCarShare

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