Car share schemes driving force for eco-city status

10 September 2020

Recent information shows the capital’s car share schemes are proving to be popular in Wellington – and with the planet.

The photo shows a car share vehicle parked in a Wellington car parking space designated for car share vehicles. The word car share is painted on the road surface in large yellow letters.
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Wellington City Council’s car share policies are designed to encourage the use of car sharing as a flexible, low carbon option that sits alongside public transport modes. With more than 7200 Wellingtonians belonging to car sharing schemes, car sharing is fast becoming the new normal for Wellington.

Data from 2019/20 provided by Wellington’s two car sharing providers, MEVO and Cityhop, shows that across the two schemes, one car share vehicle now replaces 11 private vehicles, there has been a 170% increase in membership, almost 50,000 trips taken, and 70,000kg of CO2 from car share trips has been offset.

These results show there is a lot of public support for this kind of operation in our city, says Mayor Andy Foster.

“We know from recent consultations that alternatives to private vehicles are a top priority for Wellingtonians, and the uptake in usage of car share schemes shows they’re making the most of this opportunity provided to them.

“Car sharing also supports inner-city residents and businesses by giving people greater travel choices, and it means they can get a car when they need one while avoiding the high cost of car ownership and sometimes congested parking that comes with owning a car.

“These car share operators also contribute to the Let’s Get Wellington Moving and Te Atakura – First to Zero work programmes, supporting the city’s growth and climate change response.”

Car sharing is a type of car rental but is geared toward people who want to use a car for brief periods of time and only pay for their usage. The cars are generally newer model, low-emissions vehicles, and some companies even offset all fuel emissions produced, a trend pioneered by MEVO.

As electric chargers become more integrated into the city, it’s expected that Wellington’s two car share providers will employ more electric cars too.

Global data shows car share schemes help reduce parking congestion, support the use of public and active transport, and they also fit with Council’s aims to make Wellington a sustainable eco-city, says Sustainability Manager Tom Pettit.

“We encourage this way of getting around the city by providing dedicated on-street car parks for car share vehicles or allowing vehicles to ‘free float’ among any of our parking bays for extended periods provided they pay for parking.

“The Council has around 30 car parks across the city specifically for car share vehicles which helps reduce the need to own a car – or at the very least, to not bring their car into the CBD. With the 90 or so car share vehicles in circulation, the options are there for Wellingtonians.

“Integrated with cycleways, walkability, public transport and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations installed around the CBD and suburbs, Wellington is heading in the right direction in reducing transport emissions and parking congestion, and creating a more sustainable eco-city which benefits us and the environment we live in.”