. car sharing

Car Sharing lightens emissions and fattens the walletThe Calgary Alternative Transportation Cooperative (CATCO) operates a car sharing service in the Beltline that helps the environment and saves money.The program, operating since 1999, allows members access to vehicles owned by the cooperative. Each neighbourhood has a group of members, called a pod, that share a vehicle parked in their area. “The car’s just not as available as it would be if it were your own. The cost of having access to a vehicle is charged by the hour and by the kilometre, so you’re really mindful of every hour and every kilometre you drive,” says Cody Torgerson, director of CATCO.There are currently two CATCO cars in the Beltline, a Smart car in front of the Chocolate condo on 1st street and a Prius in the Mountain Equipment Co-Op parking lot.The Smart car is a partnership with Batistella Developments that allows condo residents to join the car share. However, the vehicle is still available to other CATCO members.“It’s most convenient for condo residents, but in fact we have members in all of our pods using those vehicles,” says Torgerson.“There could be more vehicles provided in partnership with Batistella in the near future, including the possibility of one down the street at their new condo, Colours”.Car sharing reduces the costs of having access to a car and still allows members a vehicle for trips that demand more than a bicycle or two feet.Torgerson thinks that once people move into an urban setting like the Beltline, they stop relying on their vehicles. This is when car sharing becomes an attractive option.“There’s a healthier living angle to it. There are also some who are trying to be environmental. But I think that for everybody, the cost savings are something that just can’t be ignored,” he says.Members tend to drive less due to the issue of access and the fact that money is charged based on use. This encourages walking and cycling while reducing car emissions.Fewer cars on the road also means less infrastructure needed to accommodate cars, including parking. With only 166 current members, however, that type of  impact is still a long way off.





From the CATCO website:

CAR SHARING vs. owning Carsharing is similar to car ownership in some respects but also has some differences that are of benefit to you, including:

  • paid to clean or take vehicle to mechanic instead of hassle with owned vehicle
  • no longer at the mercy of fluctuating fuel prices
  • no longer losing money to depreciation
  • not paying monthly for insurance and lease or loan
  • not paying yearly for licensing and registration
  • twice as much insurance coverage than average

If you only need a vehicle once, twice or even three times a week, it may be worth looking into carsharing?


CAR SHARING vs. renting   Carsharing is similar to car rental in some respects but also has some unique differences that are of benefit to you, including:

  • added to an insurance policy, which could save you money down the road
  • insurance and fuel included in rates, not extra costs
  • rates posted on advance and rarely fluctuate
  • can rent by the hour and even by the day if needed not only by the day
  • can pick up and drop off the vehicle outside of office operating hours
  • vehicles are likely within walking distance, some even available by LRT

If you are using a rental car to run your errands on weekends, maybe it is time you looked at carsharing?