North American carsharing organizations agree to adopt a code of ethics

    MONTREAL, Oct. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Leading North American carsharing
organizations announced today that they will develop and adopt a code of
ethics to guide and strengthen this emerging industry.
    The decision was made following discussions held earlier in October in
Montreal by the presidents and CEOs of carsharing organizations in
Philadelphia (PhillyCarShare), Montreal and Quebec City (Communauto), Ottawa
(Vrtucar), Toronto (AutoShare), Kitchener (Grand River CarShare), Chicago
(I-GO Car Sharing), San Francisco (City CarShare), and Vancouver (Co-operative
Auto Network). These organizations have a combined total of over
75,000 members and 2,000 vehicles.
    "The growing carsharing industry is continuously changing. We want to
reassure the public that carsharing's goal is to offer an alternative to car
ownership," said Mr. Benoît Robert, CEO of Communauto, the oldest carsharing
company in North America. "The main aim of the code is to enable the public to
distinguish between a concept that is based on public interest, whether
privately operated or not, from other commercial enterprises," he added.
    Carsharing provides a network of self-serve vehicles at unattended
locations throughout a city's neighborhoods, for shared use among members.
These vehicles are available on an hourly or short term basis, at a lower cost
than individual car ownership can provide.  The purpose of carsharing is to
reduce private ownership of cars, decrease driving, improve the environment,
reduce congestion and improve the quality of life in our cities.
    "Carsharing is part of the local transportation network. It is having a
major and increasingly positive impact on the environment and our
communities," said Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City CarShare in San Francisco. "It
is incumbent upon our industry to develop a Code of Ethics to provide a
standard in which the public good is served by socially responsible
    "Carsharing programs have already had remarkable results in reducing car
ownership. As concerns about climate change become more pressing, we expect
the industry to continue to grow and we want to ensure that the industry
continues to focus on reducing carbon emissions. It is critical that we have
standards so that providers accurately calculate and share the environmental
results from their programs and continue to contribute to achieving the
substantial environmental benefits possible from carsharing," said Sharon
Feigon, CEO of Chicago's I-GO Car Sharing.
    The code's main objectives are to establish professional business
standards that will protect and enhance the concept, the image and the
credibility of carsharing, to ensure social and environmental commitment,
customer protection and transparency.
    A first version of the Code of Ethics has been drafted by all the
aforementioned organizations and is circulating for comment and new
signatures. All North American carsharing organizations were invited to join
this effort and the vast majority - including several independent
organizations that were not able to attend the Montreal conference - expressed
a desire to participate.

For further information:

For further information: Chicago (I-GO Car Sharing): Deborah Ackles,
(773) 278-4446,; Kitchener (Grand River CarShare): Jason
Hammond, (519) 578-1895,; Ottawa (Vrtucar): Wilson
Wood, (613) 798-1900,; Philadelphia (PhillyCarShare): Clayton
Lane, (215) 730-0988,; Quebec Province
(Communauto): Marco  Viviani, (514) 499-8099,; Toronto
(AutoShare): Kevin McLaughlin, (416) 816-3037,; San
Francisco (City CarShare): Anita Daley, (415) 995-8588,; Vancouver (Co-operative Auto Network): Tracey
Axelsson, (604) 685-1393,

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