“More Winnipeggers are forgoing their cars, creating new attitudes and business opportunities.” Read on!
Thank you to Jen Zoratti at the Winnipeg Free Press for chatting with us about how we fit into the transportation conversation in Winnipeg.
Here’s an excerpt:
“In the past 12 months, we’ve seen a growth in our fleet and membership of 30 per cent, and we’re continuing that trajectory,” says Philip Mikulec, operations manager at Peg City Co-op.
“Besides the laudable environmental goals, people who are joining car-sharing are largely doing it for economic reasons. This speaks to the change in the way people use our service and the kind of demand we’re seeing in our fleet. As we mature, we’re seeing more and more people joining because I think they see the economic benefits to themselves of not owning a car and having a reliable service they can use.”
So who uses car-sharing? At first, Peg City’s membership base was mostly the early adopters, or “avid non-car owners.” As the idea of a car co-op has become more accepted and mainstream, that base has widened to include people from a wide cross-section of socio-economic backgrounds. Based on Peg City’s data, the co-op’s core membership is made up of young, highly educated professionals who live in six-figure households. They tend to live and work either downtown or in the Exchange District. “They’d rather not spend $300 a month on parking alone,” Mikulec says.
Car-sharing doesn’t just help reduce household budgets by lessening the financial burden of car ownership. It also helps reduce carbon footprints. Carshare vehicles tend to be newer, more efficient and better maintained. Mikulec says industry data show that for every car-share vehicle put on the road, 10 to 15 vehicles are shed.
Mikulec believes Winnipeg has the potential to become a 100 to 200-car sharing city.
Even avid drivers are coming around on the idea of car-sharing. “We’re still speaking the same language — it’s about cars,” Mikulec says.