U of C adopts carshare program

By Daniel Pagan

Commuter students won’t have to worry about ditching their wheels in favour of mother nature thanks to a new partnership between the University of Calgary and Calgary Alternative Transportation Co-operative, a local carsharing program.

The U of C acquired its own car-share vehicle from CATCO, and it’s located south of the Biological Sciences building.

Carsharing is a service where multiple people rent cars for short periods of time and are billed based on multiple factors, including insurance prices and usage of fuel. CATCO, a member-owned co-operative, provides a carsharing service throughout the city.

The partnership was created by the U of C’s Ancillaries and Infrastructure associate vice-president Peter Fraser and CATCO coordinator Cody Torgerson.

Torgerson explained he is excited about the partnership between the university and CATCO, because of the possibilities it opens up for commuter students.

“I see carsharing as having the ability to remove the final obstacle to a commuter; not requiring a vehicle while on campus,” said Torgerson. “There is already great transit bus access as well as a carpool service that commuters can use to leave their vehicle at home. With all these services in place, I expect carsharing to be a very popular service on campus–if we can involve the students.”

According to Torgerson, a student interested in signing up for the program would have to shell out a $25 membership fee, along with a $500 refundable damage deposit. However, for undergraduate students, there is a catch.

“First of all, we have a minimum age requirement of 23-years-old for members,” said Torgerson. “The minimum age is required by our insurance company. However, there are precedents set by other campuses that have carsharing, so we are interested in exploring the feasibility.”

U of C Parking Services manager Susan Austen is hoping the new car-sharing service would encourage more students to rely on alternate transportation and reduce the stress on the university’s parking spaces.

“Sometimes needing a car during the day for an errand or meeting off campus is the only reason people will not consider giving up their permits and trying Transit,” said Austen. “Carsharing can help solve this barrier and provide choices.”

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