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Car-share arrives in Wellington

Car-share arrives in Wellington 

Cityhop, New Zealand’s first car-share company, is launching in Wellington (24 July) thanks to support from Wellington City Council.

Cityhop was launched in Auckland in September last year. The company began with five cars and now has a fleet of over 20 cars based at convenient carparks around the city. The company will start with three cars in Wellington and add to them as demand dictates.

Car-share works worldwide to solve congestion and transportation issues inconveniencing city residents. Cityhop works on a membership basis. Members make bookings to use the cars via the internet, then simply access the cars with a digital swipe card from the car park they booked their car from.

Wellington City Council, which supports the concept of car-share clubs as part of its travel-demand management plan, is providing two carparks for Cityhop in the Clifton Terrace carpark and in the Civic Centre carpark under the Central Library.

Wellington Mayor Kerry Prendergast welcomes the Cityhop scheme. “Anything we can do to reduce the number of cars coming into the central city each day has to be a good thing. One of the strengths of a car share company is that it gives people real flexibility –

they can reduce personal or corporate vehicle use but still move about town freely when required.”

“Wellington City Council is committed to reducing the city’s carbon emissions and we think Cityhop can make a valuable contribution to the sustainable transport mix.”

Cityhop CEO Victoria Carter says car-share is a critical part of any major city’s public transport plans - supporting those who sometimes have the need for ‘emergency wheels’. 

“At $13.50 an hour it’s very affordable. Now that car-share is in the capital people really can look at the true cost of their car ownership and choose to be carless.”

Today the company has 200 members and nearly 40 businesses taking advantage of cost savings, convenience and the chance to reduce their carbon footprints.

Says Mrs Carter, “We have members from Queenstown, Blenheim, Gisborne and Wellington who use us when they visit Auckland. Members can collect a car from the Airport for $13.50 an hour rather than the $70-plus a taxi can cost to bring them to the city.”

Mrs Carter says Cityhop is looking for other carparks. “In Auckland a number of businesses have joined up and donated a parking space. A company director of Isthmus, the urban architects did this and now he commutes on public transport and cityhops when he needs to visit clients.”

In the future, Mrs Carter hopes councils will include car share in their planning for road use and also future developments. Some cities offer incentives for developers to include car share in their developments to encourage less reliance on cars. Other cities also put car share on the street, much like taxis and bus stops so that residents can easily see and use car share rather than a private vehicle.

ends

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