Kamloops car share program seeking leadership to move forward

Kamloops councilor Arjun Singh (the big guy in the middle) hosts a meeting for anyone interested in bringing car sharing to Kamloops Aug. 1 at Frankly Coffee. If you’d like to get involved, watch for the next meeting announcement soon. Sean Brady/The Omega

Kamloops councilor Arjun Singh (the big guy in the middle) hosts a meeting for anyone interested in bringing car sharing to Kamloops Aug. 1 at Frankly Coffee. If you’d like to get involved, watch for the next meeting announcement soon. Sean Brady/The Omega

Sean Brady, Contributor  Ω

Kamloops city councilor Arjun Singh is putting his energy behind the idea to bring a car share program to Kamloops, but he says his efforts alone won’t move the idea forward.

The concept is a product of the Kamloops Ideas Festival, which was held for the first time earlier this year by Singh. At the festival’s conclusion, he pledged to advocate for the top two ideas.

Frankly Coffee was host to an Aug. 1 meeting of 13 members of the public who gathered to discuss the idea. The meeting was also the platform for a car share information presentation put together by TRU business student Karen Atara, who is helping Singh bring the idea to light.

The main goal of the meeting was to organize a steering committee.

“If it’s just my energy behind it, it’s not going to work. We need some leadership,” Singh said.

Although there was some interest by attendees in joining the committee, the leadership position remains open at these early stages.

Vancouver currently has multiple car share operations and car share co-ops operate in B.C. cities as small as Smithers and Nelson.

Meanwhile the Okanagan Car Share Co-Op (OGO) officially launched in Kelowna on Aug. 7 with a fleet of two vehicles and 30 memberships. Its members can also use the Modo Car Share Co-Op vehicles in Vancouver, according to the co-op’s website.

The 2012 Driving Costs report by the Canadian Automobile Association says that it costs the average Canadian approximately $7,500 per year to own and operate a vehicle.

The Okanagan Car Share Co-Op requires a $500 membership deposit and charges $3 per hour plus a mileage fee of $0.45 per kilometre. Members pay for their own gas.

According to Atara’s presentation, car sharing is economically viable for those who drive less than 10,000 km per year, or those who regularly walk, bike or carpool on a regular basis.

“It’s saving folks money and it’s emblematic of sustainable values,” Singh said.

Once a committee is established the next step will be to look at how a car share operation would need to adapt to fit with Kamloops, Singh said.

Another information meeting for a Kamloops car-sharing program will take place sometime in September.

Check out Okanagan Car Share Co-op on Facebook to find out more about their version of the idea.