News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Urban Car Share Clubs Come to Bristol

I don't normally write blogs about individual companies but I thought this one warranted an exception. Meeting up with an old friend on New Year's Eve who uses the City Car Club prompted me to give it a mention.

The idea is both revolutionary and simple, aided by developments in technology. Members of the club have access to a range of shared (but new) cars which are located across the city and which they can book (online or by phone) for their use, from as little as one hour to a week or more.

With rates from £4.75 per hour, the car club is a viable option for the urban dweller who does not need a car every day but who may need to use one less frequently without paying car hire costs. The cars are located across Bristol (here's the current list) and are accessed via a member's electronic pass card and, for added security, via an in-car computer that ensures that only members who have booked the car can drive away.

The club's web site claims that the presence of a well run car club in a city can reduce commuter traffic by up to 25% as residents who might otherwise drive to work choose public transport and use the car club for other uses. Their site also contains an extensive list of the "what about...?" kind of questions that we probably all have about such a scheme.

City Car Club is an interesting example of a business model that appears to be taking seriously the need to reduce car use in cities. Worth a look.

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