TORONTO, Aug. 29, 2013 /CNW/ - Toronto City council has demonstrated
their commitment to innovative transportation solutions by making the
"CarShare Vehicle Parking Areas" pilot project permanent -tripling it
in size immediately and making a long term commitment with up to 40 new
spaces each year. The spaces went live this week.
AutoShare, Toronto's local carsharing service, has been awarded 14
additional on-street locations (of a total 26 awarded to 3 companies),
improving transportation options for Torontonians. "Reservation-based
carsharing like AutoShare is proven to help people kick the car habit "
says AutoShare's president, Kevin McLaughlin "giving them the
confidence to live without a car, and instead walk, bike, take transit
and use other alternatives as needed."
As part of City Council's program, these permanent dedicated spaces
include key locations such as Trinity Bellwoods (at Queen Street West
and Walnut) and the Fort York neighbourhood (at Bastion and Fleet
Street) and the St. Lawrence Market (at Church and The Esplanade), King
East (near Sherbourne and King), Yonge and Finch (near Tolman and
Yonge) and finally CityPlace at BlueJays Way and Spadina. City
councilors who approved these spots in their wards include: Councillors
John Filion, Mike Layton, Pam McConnell & Adam Vaughan. By year end, AutoShare will have 23 on-street locations in Toronto.
Carsharing has proven to benefit both the city and its residents: One
AutoShare vehicle replaces 8 - 10 private cars, and on average members
drive about 50% less after joining. Today, there are more than 40,000
people in Toronto using CarSharing services of one type or another, and
well over 150,000 across Canada.
"Parking is by far the biggest challenge to the growth and viability of
carsharing. It's important that people have access near to their homes,
and work places," says AutoShare's president, Kevin McLaughlin. "It's
great that the City is recognizing the changing transportation
demographics of Torontonians and planning for the future transportation
needs of our growing city."
Carsharing is just one transportation option that members of carsharing
services use to move around the city. AutoShare members are most likely
to walk, bike, take public transit or taxi—relying on cars for only 4
per cent of their daily needs. Not only does this save them money, it
also helps the city's traffic congestion.
News of the dedicated spots comes one month before AutoShare hosts the
CarSharing Association's annual conference, "Shared Mobility and Public
Transit: Partners for the 21st Centure." The pre-eminent event for the
fast-growing shared mobility industry will feature industry experts and
innovators, academic researchers, emerging technologies and civic
leaders from around the world, including MIT Professor, Dr. Ryan Chin,
Montreal's STM Chairman, Michel Labrecque, Berkley Professor, Susan
Shaheen, and City of Toronto Chief Planner, Jen Keesmaat.
Founded in 1998 and still 100% local, AutoShare is Toronto's smart
alternative to owning a car. With vehicles at over 175 locations
across Toronto and Mississauga, AutoShare's 13,000+ members can choose
from a variety of vehicles available self-serve 24/7. AutoShare prides
itself on having the lowest rates, best availability, and helping
members to build their insurance record.
Image with caption: "AutoShare Onstreet parking area (CNW Group/AutoShare)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130829_C8939_PHOTO_EN_30232.jpg