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Council puts car sharing into gear

Hamilton City Council has launched an exciting new car-share scheme with local business Loop.

Loop, owned by Waikato car dealership Ebbett, allows people to hire a car by the minute, hour or overnight via an app on their phone.

The app connects customers to the nearest communal car conveniently parked around the city. Customers simply return the cars to the same park when they are finished.

The Council, through its Smart Hamilton programme, is backing the scheme by offering 14 carefully chosen carparks near or in the city centre for Loop’s exclusive use. The parking spaces have signage and road marking to indicate car-share use only.

The 14 carpark spaces are located at Tristram St, Harwood St, Anglesea St, Victoria St, Waikato Museum, Caro St and the Transport Centre.

The Council has pledged support for a three-year trial of the scheme as it will reduce the need for more cars on the city’s roads while providing Hamiltonians with an additional choice of transport.

Hamilton’s Loop customers, for example, now have the opportunity to cycle to and from work while also having access to a vehicle in the city should they need it.

Hamilton’s Growth and Infrastructure Committee Chair Dave Macpherson says Loop provides smart options which align perfectly with the Council’s transport sustainability, affordability and accessibility goals.

“We are always looking to offer new public transport options for Hamiltonians, alleviate city congestion and reduce car emissions at the same time,” says Cr Macpherson.

“We also hope the scheme will mean increased social inclusion by having more affordable vehicles available for public use, more efficient use of some of lesser used on and off-street car parking spaces, and a reduced need for vehicle ownership – the scheme gives people much greater choice,” says Cr Macpherson.

Smart Hamilton Programme Manager Chelsey Stewart says: “The Loop car-share initiative is a great example of how we are starting to challenge the status quo and think differently about tackling the transportation challenges we face.”

“Car-sharing complements traditional transport options and can lead to improved health and wellbeing as people may choose to walk or cycle into the city more often.”

The Council will review the performance of the pilot scheme quarterly, via the Access Hamilton Taskforce and Growth and Infrastructure Committee.


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