Car sharing company GoGet has just had its most successful year in Canberra yet, with its membership growing by 44 per cent. This is more than double its growth in Sydney and Melbourne over the same period.
In response to this growth, GoGet has increased the number of cars it has available in Canberra from 14 in January to 36 now.
Josh Brydges, GoGet’s locations and transport planner attributes this growth to the location of GoGet cars around town and the growth of corporate members.
“We’ve worked closely with the ACT Government to help ensure vehicles are placed closer to where people live and work,” Josh says.
“Another huge factor in Canberra’s rapid adoption of car share is the growth of our forward-thinking corporate fleet customers in the ACT. By supplementing their business fleets with car share, they’ve made more GoGet vehicles available—not only to their own staff but also to the wider community.”
The ACT Government is still trialling car sharing but with this recent growth, Josh is confident that car sharing in Canberra is here to stay.
During the trial, “Transport Canberra provided the car spaces, made sure that things were working, and provided guidance on what was going on in Canberra such as when there were road works blocking access to a car,” explains Josh.
It was road works that provided an opportunity for GoGet to try some new locations. In consultation with Transport Canberra, GoGet moved cars out of car parks and onto local streets and immediately saw membership spikes in the surrounding areas.
“If we can get cars near where people live and work, there’s a huge desire amongst Canberrans to be able to use shared cars.”
Canberra currently has 1,800 GoGet members. Most live in the inner north with the highest concentration of members in Acton, Black Mountain, Ainslie, Dickson, O’Connor, Campbell, Braddon and Reid.
GoGet works by members paying a monthly fee and an hourly rate when they book a car. The higher the monthly fee, the lower the hourly rate. Cars are booked online or via the app.
Each car lives in a location and needs to be returned to that same location. The car is accessed using a smart card. The key and a fuel card live in the car, with GoGet looking after the fuel, rego, insurance and servicing. They even regularly clean the car.
I have been a GoGet member since March 2017 when my family’s second car died of engine failure. As a busy family with two working parents and three primary school-aged kids, GoGet was mighty helpful particularly on Saturday mornings when we need to drive three kids in different directions to soccer, ballet and swimming.
Turns out this is a common experience for GoGet members. In a recent survey, 38 per cent of Canberra members said they had delayed purchasing a car since joining GoGet, and 71 per cent said they had no intention of purchasing a vehicle in the next 12 months.
GoGet likes to promote the environmental benefits of this, stating that each car share vehicle removes on average 10 private vehicles from the road, reducing congestion and pollution within cities.
Car sharing has changed the way I think about transport. I ride my bike, walk and catch buses more and I use Uber and taxis when needed. I combine different modes of transport, catching a bus or riding a bike to work and using a GoGet car to go somewhere at lunchtime or take the kids to an after-school activity.
GoGet has also noticed this paradigm shift. “When you start using car share you start recognising, ‘you know what, maybe I don’t need to take the car that time, maybe I don’t need to book a car, I could actually just walk that,’” says Josh.
“We asked our members and 33 per cent of Canberra members noticed that they walk or cycle more. It’s not something we planned when we introduced car sharing, but it’s certainly the way people end up behaving,” says Josh.
Josh’s preferred GoGet car is closer to a cafe than his home.
“There is one car, it’s not the closest car to me, but it’s next to a cafe and I love using that one because when I get back at the end of a trip I can stop and grab a coffee,” he says.
After becoming car share people, my kids and I are learning that there are many ways to solve the transport problem.
Visit the GoGet website for more details.