Council has been approached by Flexicar to consider a twelve month trial proposal to have 4 share cars located in Ivanhoe and Heidelberg. Flexicar is a private company that offers car sharing to its members at reasonable annual and per use rates. Local cars can be booked and accessed through an online portal and member smart cards. For many people it offers a convenient alternative to owning your own motor vehicle, particularly for those that may not need a vehicle often, or for those occasionally requiring an additional car.
Flexicar has advised that they have had considerable community interest raised to the possibility of providing share cars within Heidelberg and Ivanhoe. Primary interest seems to be from families with young adults and from single vehicle households seeking occasional additional vehicle usage.
A share car system offers a highly sustainable and alternate transport option to the local community. Studies have identified significant benefits to communities through the removal of vehicles that might otherwise be parked on the street or driven on the roads. It is considered a highly positive addition to the area and in line with Council’s transport strategies.
For the system to work effectively the vehicles are assigned permanent parking spaces in a busy and well frequented area. Ideally spaces are reserved within shopping strips or close to train stations. These locations provide good user access, significant exposure to assist take up of the system and greater security for the vehicles and users.
Two (2) spaces are proposed for both Ivanhoe and Heidelberg shopping centres as part of a twelve month trial. Locations close to the stations and within the shopping strips will be considered at both locations.
Enforcement of these dedicated spaces is essential to the service provision.
Following the proposed twelve month trial period, Flexicar and Council will evaluate the scheme at both locations before any long term agreement might be sought.
The trial has the support of both the Ivanhoe and Heidelberg Central Traders Associations.