Nelson grants free parking space to carshare

Two other requests to council were turned down.

Kootenay Carshare executive director Colleen Doyle in one of the Nelson branch's 11 vehicles.

Nelson city council has announced it will provide a free parking spot for the Kootenay Carshare in the vicinity of its office at525 Hall St. This will allow greater access to the carshare’s customers and members and for its vehicles, and will cost the city about $1,200 in parking meter revenue.

The carshare requested this at a council meeting on July 20, at which time it also asked for two more things: that the carshare have a greater presence on the city’s website, and that the city join the carshare, which is a member-owned cooperative.Council turned down both of those requests.

Regarding the city’s decision not to join the carshare, the city manager’s materials presented to council state:

“Both the garage and transit manager and the deputy CFO did a comparison of costs between an employee using their personal vehicle (paying mileage) versus using a carshare vehicle. Both determined that for short trips, it is less expensive to pay an employee mileage but on long trips, it is more cost effective to use carshare.

“Although it is more cost effective to use carshare on long trips, the garage and transit manager strongly advised against using carshare for out of town road trips. The concern of the garage and transit manager revolves around safety: city vehicle sare kept to the highest standard of safety with a full staff of highly trained qualified mechanics that take great pride in keeping city vehicles safe for our staff.”

The materials also state that the carshare is set up to provide service to individuals, not organizations although it does have business and institutional members.

Regarding the carshare’s request for more presence on the city’s website, the materials state the purpose of the city’s website is for city business only.

The carshare’s three-fold request last July was based on its contention that it is the only successful carshare in rural Canada with 300 members and 20 vehicles in six Kootenay communities, that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 157 tonnes per year in the Kootenays by taking cars off the road, that each vehicle goes through a thorough annual mechanical inspection and oil changes along with safety checks every 5,000 km or six months, that the Kimberley and the Regional District ofCentral Kootenay are members, and that the carshare contributes to a culture of sharing and safety.

In response to the city’s decision, carshare executive director Colleen Doyle said “Kootenay Carshare would like to thank theCity of Nelson for providing a parking space and looks forward to working with the city to membership possible in the future.”