Car sharing and car pooling
The benefits of living car-free or "car-lite"
Moreland Council seeks to facilitate a change in community travel patterns. The Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy (PDF 25Mb) outlines how council will work with the community to make it easier to get around using low-impact travel options such as walking and bike riding - and encourage a long term reduction in car use.
Owning a car is expensive. The RACV estimates that Victorian car owners spend between $115 and $510 per week on their cars. Most of these costs are fixed or hidden expenses such as vehicle depreciation and insurance. In addition, owning a car means finding a place to store it - and in inner city suburbs there are often better uses for the space we currently use for car parking.
Creating a society where car travel is the 'option of last resort' rather than the default travel option will allow us to redirect the money and space we currently allocate to cars to create better places for people. By making the shift to sustainable travel we will achieve many benefits for the environment, for public health and improved life on the street,
Can occasionally using a car be a sustainable travel option?
For short trips involving getting you and a few things that can be carried in a bag - walking is a smart and healthy choice. For slightly longer trips, or trips where you need to carry more stuff - perhaps a child - then a cargo carrying bicycle could be a practical option. Public transport works best for those longer trips across Melbourne to busy destinations like the CBD. With a bit of planning these options can meet most of your travel needs. For the few trips that remain a car or light van might be the only way to get you and what you need to moved to its destination
Choosing sustainable travel is largely a question of asking 'What is the right travel option for this trip?" every time you need to get somewhere.
Sometimes - because you've got something heavy to transport or because you going somewhere where the public transport service could be better - using a car is the sensible choice.
Car access is more sustainable than car ownership
Car sharing, ride hailing, taxis and car pooling provides the option of access to a car trip on the rare occasion when more environmentally efficient travel choices are impractical. They offer the option of car mobility without the hassle and expense of owning a car.
Car share programs offer short term access to a motor vehicle via an app, web or telephone booking. Cars can be booked by the hour with fuel and insurance costs are covered as part of the booking. Car share operators offer a range of vehicles including cars, utes and vans. You can even book pet friendly cars and cars with child safety seats.
Car share providers operating in Merri-bek include:
Each car share program is slightly different:
- Some car share programs offer a variety of fuel efficient, safe vehicles maintained by the car share operator.
- Other car share programs provide a booking system that links residents who own cars and rarely use them with residents who want to use a car but don’t own one. The latter provide an incentive for car owners to use their car less, and mobility options for non-car owners.
Ride hailing and taxis
Ride hailing services such as Uber, DIdi, Ola and Shebah and taxi services such as 13cabs and Silver Top offer access to a car trip when needed. Many have app based booking systems that make it easy to book, track and pay for a car journey.
Ride hailing and taxis offer an origin to destination travel service even when you can’t drive. The same vehicle provides car transport for many people. When used occasionally or as a back up plan they can play a part in the sustainable travel mix.
Taxi ranks on Sydney Road provide a safer place to hail a ride home.
Car pool programs attempt to connect people who are travelling in the same direction, at the same time, and encourage some of them to travel as car passengers rather than car drivers. Journeys to and from workplaces with regular start and finish times are well suited to car pooling.
There are several apps and websites to help you find people in Melbourne to car pool with:
These services can be used for a range of car trips, from setting up a regular commute to tourists organising one-off road trip between cities. Register your journey, search for a match and get to know your potential travel partner.
Find out about other sustainable transport actions that you can take as a worker or resident in Merri-bek by visiting the Zero Carbon Merri-bek website.