October 17, 2012
Queen’s has joined with an Ottawa-based company, VRTUCAR, to offer a new car-sharing program that will provide the campus community with an alternative transportation option and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“This service is another option, another incentive, that might prompt people to either get rid of their car, or one of their cars, and will especially help students who don’t have access to a car,” says Aaron Ball, Queen’s Sustainability Manager.
The Queen’s initiative, which will include one shared car, is a component of the university’s Climate Action Plan, aimed at reducing emissions on campus and creating awareness of climate change and sustainability. Car sharing is known to reduce the number of cars on the roads, curbing emissions and gridlock and parking woes.
Popular in large urban centres, car sharing allows people to purchase memberships and gain access to a fuel-efficient vehicle at any time of day. Drivers pay for the hours and kilometres they need, plus a modest monthly fee. The cost of the car, insurance, gas, maintenance and snow tires are all covered by the car-sharing company.
The Queen’s vehicle is one of three cars available in Kingston through VRTUCAR and will be parked on the Tindall surface parking lot. The City of Kingston approved the lease of two other parking spaces, one at the Springer Memorial lot at the corner of Queen and Bagot Streets, and another at a municipal lot at King and Queen Streets.
“This is an excellent program that delivers a sustainable transportation option for users,” says Caroline Davis, Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration). “The program bolsters our mission to reduce emissions and create a greener environment on campus.”
Queen’s anticipates this first step into car sharing will encourage further programs in the future, including corporate memberships that would allow cars to be shared within departments. The university also sees the car-sharing program as a particular draw for graduate students who want more flexibility in their transportation options.