News | 31 August 2016

Car parks on offer to help car share grow

Car share vehicles look set to become an increasingly common sight on Wellington streets thanks in part to a new Wellington City Council policy.

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.

Councillors today approved the Car Share Policy, which allows operators of existing and new car share schemes to apply for more on-street car parks where car share vehicles can be parked when they are not in use.

As more people join car share schemes, this will help car share operators meet growing demand and provide vehicles in locations that will be more convenient for people wanting to use them.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says having a high-quality diverse transport system is key to Wellington’s economic, environmental and social success – and meeting the city’s climate change targets.

“Car sharing is an important part of today’s transport choices,” she says. “This new policy will support car sharing and our goals in the city’s Urban Growth Plan and new Capital Low Carbon Plan approved in June.”

Cr Andy Foster, who chairs the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, says car sharing supports inner city residents and businesses who may only rarely need a car, and those living where space is constrained.

“It gives people greater travel choice and means they can get a car when they need one while avoiding the high cost of car ownership or needing a second car, and importantly also the cost of owning a parking space which is really significant especially in the central city,” he says.

“Many privately-owned cars sit idle about 95 percent of the time and evidence from overseas suggests that each car share vehicle takes between 10 and 20 cars off the road.”

The new policy will give car share operators clear guidelines and allow car parking spaces allocated for this purpose to be carefully monitored. A free two-year permit to use car parks will only be allocated to operators who meet a set of agreed criteria.

“We want to know that these vehicles are being well used and that setting aside spaces for them is a good investment. I am well aware that the companies who have been part of the car share trial earlier this year have been very active in attracting members, which is a very encouraging sign.

Over the next three years – subject to demand – the Council plans to identify up to 100 car parking spaces across the city that could be set aside for car share vehicles or electric vehicle charging infrastructure and other services which either reduce the need to own a car or make it easier to shift to sustainable transport fuels.

This will include three central city parking spaces in Wakefield and Victoria streets and Inglewood Place that were part of a recent six-month trial and will continue to be used by existing car share operators Cityhop, Roam and YourDrive.