CarSharing Association Announced - Canada's largest carsharing organizations played a key role in its creation

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Eighteen carsharing organizations from around the world have announced formation of an association that sets the ethical, social and environmental bar for the carsharing industry. The driving principles of the new CarSharing Association (CSA) focus on environmental and social impact and responsibility, education, research and ethical practices (www.carsharing.org).

The goals of carsharing organizations in CSA include reducing the number of cars on the road, relieving congestion and increasing transportation options.  Unlike "cars on demand" services, member carsharing organizations are "transit-oriented" services, encouraging carsharing as part of a sustainable transportation network of choices that includes walking, cycling, and transit.

"We view our carsharing programs as a form of transit, getting people to the last leg of their destination," said Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-GO Car Sharing, based in Chicago. "Members of the Association provide an important public service that enhances mobility options while creating sustainable communities."

The Association's member organizations span from Sydney to Halifax to Minneapolis to Sao Paolo and represent approximately 100,000 members across the globe. CSA members include innovators of carsharing in North America, the oldest of which has been operating since 1994. Unlike traditional car rental, carsharers use vehicles by the hour at a cost that includes gas, insurance, parking and maintenance. The CSA encourages closer integration of shared services among member organizations, including roaming memberships, supporting sustainable transportation and facilitating research.

"Carsharing is a reliable and flexible alternative to car ownership," states the CSA's founding document, "Its mission, vision and values lead to actions aimed at decreasing individual car ownership, reducing vehicle distance traveled, improving urban land use and development, and providing affordable access to vehicles for all constituencies - including those less able to afford car ownership."

CSA members have created and agree to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice for carsharing. Key themes include upholding the association's social and environmental commitment, establishing and maintaining standards for the industry, quality of service to members and stakeholders, and vital public education and research.

About the Canadian founding organizations:

Autoshare
AutoShare is Toronto's smart alternative to owning a car. The company is dedicated to providing greater mobility and personal freedom to people living in Toronto and to reducing carbon emissions and pollution through efficiency and choice. Launched in 1998, Autoshare serves over 10,000 individuals, families, businesses and government departments through 24/7 self-serve access to 220 vehicles stationed across the city.

The Car Co-op
The Car Co-op is a not-for-profit, co-operative carsharing organization which has been operating in Metro Vancouver since 1997. It is the first English-speaking carsharing organization in the world. It currently serves 6 municipalities, has 7200 members and 240 vehicles.

CarShare HFX
CarShare Atlantic Limited ("CarShareHFX") is a year-round service that provides Halifax businesses, institutions, organizations and household members with easy, self-service access to a fleet of vehicles that can be rented on an hourly basis. CarShareHFX launched December 2008.

Communauto
Founded in 1994, Communauto is the oldest carsharing service in North America and one of the largest in the world. It provides its 22,000 subscribers with some 1100 self-service vehicles, distributed among 350 stations located in Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke region.

VRTUCAR
VRTUCAR, Ottawa's own car share organization, was established in 2000 by four environmentally-aware members sharing one car. Today, VRTUCAR has over 1400 members and 70 cars in 55 self-serve locations throughout Ottawa.

Founding members of the CarSharing Association are:
Ashland Car Share (Oregon) Media contact: Becky Brown ashlandcarshare@gmail.com
AutoShare (Toronto) Media contact: Kevin McLaughlin kevin@autoshare.com
Buffalo CarShare (Buffalo) Media contact: Creighton Randall c.randall@buffalocarshare.org
The Car Co-op & The Company Car (Metro Vancouver) Media contact: Tanya Paz tanya@car.coop
CarShare Vermont (Burlington) Media contact: Candy Page cpage@burlingtonfreepress.com
CarShareHFX (Halifax) Media contact: Pam Cooley pmcooley@carsharehfx.ca
City CarShare (San Francisco) Media contact: Anita Daley adaley@citycarshare.org
CityWheels (Cleveland) Media contact: Ryan McKenzie ryan@mycitywheels.com
Communauto (Montreal, Quebec, Sherbrooke, Gatineau) Media contact: Marco Viviani mviviani@communauto.ca
Community Car (Madison) Media contact: John Ribolzi john.ribolzi@communitycar.com
eGo CarShare (Denver and Boulder) Media contact: Karen Worminghaus karen@carshare.org
Goget (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane) Media contact: Bruce Jeffreys bruce@goget.com.au
HOURCAR (Minneapolis/Saint Paul) Media contact: Christopher Bineham christopherb@thenec.org
I-GO Car Sharing (Chicago) Media contact: Sharon Feigon sharon@igocars.org
Ithaca Carshare (Ithaca) Media contact: Jennifer Dotson jennifer@ithacacarshare.org
PhillyCarShare (Philadelphia) Media contact: Judith Harvey judith@phillycarshare.org
VRTUCAR (Ottawa) Media contact: Wilson Wood woodw@vrtcar.com
Zazcar (Sao Paolo) Media contact: Felipe Barroso contato@zazcar.com.br

SOURCE COMMUNAUTO

For further information:

Emily Robinson, Center for Neighborhood Technology, erobinson@cnt.org, 773-269-4043


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