There’s a new car in town, and this car is co-operatively owned and operated by the 10 members of the newly formed Rossland branch of Kootenay Carshare Co-operative.
“Sharing a vehicle can save you money, spare you hassles and reduce your environmental impact,” said Ann Damude, Rossland branch manager.
“The Carshare takes care of insurance costs, gas costs and vehicle maintenance. Our members only pay when they actually drive.”
It’s been a little over a year since the Energy Task Force of Rossland’s Sustainability Commission first floated the idea of establishing a Carshare in Rossland.
With a mandate to decrease Rossland’s carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, the Energy Task Force saw Carshare as a first step to reducing private car dependence in Rossland.
“Car sharing is recognized by the North American Sustainable Transportation Council to be one of three important greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.” said Sustainability Commission chair Terry Miller.
“During the Rossland Sustainability Planning process, the community identified protecting Rossland’s air quality and reducing Rossland’s dependence on fossil fuels as important goals. The Carshare initiative is a good first step towards achieving those goals.”
Alex Loeb, who sits on the Energy Task Force, took the lead and approached Kootenay Carshare Co-operative about expanding into Rossland.
Kootenay Carshare already had an online booking system, support staff and over 10 years experience operating a Carshare, said Loeb.
“By joining with Kootenay Carshare Co-operative, we were able to tap into their expertise and existing infrastructure,” he said.
In order to open the new branch, Rossland needed to raise enough funds to purchase their first car and find at least 10 members who were committed to driving it.
The purchase of the first vehicle for the Rossland Branch was made possible with funding support from the City of Rossland and Area B of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary through the Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives.
Both Kootenay Savings Credit Union and Nelson and District Credit Union also contributed funding.
“The support of our community funding partners has made it possible to launch the Rossland Branch, now it’s up to us to grow the Carshare,” said Damude.
As new people or businesses join, the Carshare will be able to add more vehicles. By summer, the Rossland Branch would like to have 20 active members and a second vehicle available to Rossland area members.
Any community members or businesses interested in joining the Rossland Branch should contact Rossland branch manager Ann Damude at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or check out the Kootenay Carshare Co-operative website at www.carsharecoop.ca.