Ashfield Council supports car sharing because it enables more sustainable travel habits, and helps keep our businesses and residents connected. It is also an efficient use of parking space – a single car share vehicle can replace many private vehicles that would otherwise compete for local parking. This reduces congestion and the competition for parking spaces, which ultimately benefits all road users. Car share also reduces overheads for residents who rarely drive, and do not need to own their own vehicle. The Ashfield LGA has a low rate of household car ownership – close to 20% of Ashfield households do not own a car, compared to approximately 12% of households across greater Sydney. This makes Ashfield an area where car share can flourish.
Car sharing is a convenient, affordable and sustainable transport option for Ashfield residents and businesses. Almost 1,000 residents and businesses have joined car share organisations that operate in the Ashfield Local Government Area (LGA). There are close to 30 car share vehicles now stationed within the Ashfield LGA and almost 35 members for every car share vehicle parked on Ashfield's streets. An estimated 6% of Ashfield households are now car share members. Members can book a car online whenever they need one, and pick it up from one of the dedicated locations within the LGA. Car share users are charged by time and distance, at a rate set by each operator. Costs associated with fuel, vehicle maintenance and insurance are usually included in the operator's hire fees. Hourly costs usually range between $5 to $13, plus costs per kilometre.
Car Share began operating in the Ashfield LGA in 2010 when Council adopted a Supporting Car Share Parking Policy and the first dedicated on-street parking spaces (or pods) were introduced. Since that time the number of car share members and car share pods has steadily increased and Council recently adopted a revised Supporting Car Share Parking Policy. A copy of the policy can be found here.
To make sure the public interest is upheld, Council imposes strict quality and reporting requirements on car share organisations seeking the designation of parking spaces:
Membership must be available to all local residents and businesses.
Vehicles must be fuel efficient and have low emissions.
24-hour booking systems must be available.
minimum levels in terms of usage and membership must be met before the provision of designated spaces will be considered
Annual reporting and monthly data must be provided to support the retention of designated on-street or off-street spaces.
Car Share organisations are also responsible for meeting the cost associated with the marking, signposting and ongoing maintenance of any designated parking spaces.