FREMANTLE council could ditch some of its corporate fleet and opt for share cars instead.
On Wednesday the council’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee voted to start looking for a car share business that would be interested in establishing a subsidised network in Fremantle.
The report found council support would be critical if the network was to be successful, including using share cars instead of fleet vehicles and providing free parking.
Mayor Brad Pettitt was excited one of his long-held dreams for Fremantle was progressing, but said it needed a metro-wide approach for long-term success.
“I have been speaking to Vincent and the former [acting] lord mayor of Perth around how we can start to come up with a system we can roll out across the metropolitan area.
“What we’ve learned from Melbourne and Sydney is that there’s space in the market for two or three providers,” he says, noting the council will have to be careful its decision to look for a single operator doesn’t create an unbreakable monopoly.
“It’s going to be the new norm, but when you look at places like Vancouver, 30 per cent of people are already members of a car share.
“I’ve always found it frustrating that Perth doesn’t get it.”
Fremantle currently has just a single electric share car, which is available to residents in the Sustainable Housing for Artists and Creatives co-op in the new WGV development on Stevens Street. It draws its power from the development’s solar panels.
But Dr Pettitt says he hopes other developers look at options already available under the council’s planning rules that would allow them to ditch car bays if they provide places for share cars.
The council first tried to get a two-year car share trial up and running in 2014 and adopted a policy committing it to becoming a customer, but the response was lukewarm.
Meanwhile networks were burgeoning across the eastern states.
Consultants Phillip Boyle and Associate’s study says Fremantle’s low population and its generous residential parking permits are reasons for caution, but 13 per cent of residents don’t own cars while the rest of us are more likely than not to be behind the wheel of an ageing jalopy.
The report recommends the council try to rope Notre Dame University and Fremantle Hospital into the car share scheme, as well as consider underpinning the revenue of car share vehicles for a period. It says each car would need at least 20 members to viable, be used for at least three hours a day and need to earn about $1500 a month in revenue.
by STEVE GRANT