I declare the Abbotsford Editor an Abbotsford identity. Such a cultured and interesting life he leads according to his blog. He gets interviewed on the radio, goes to Abbotsford soirees where amateurs play Dvorak four hands, and judges literary competitions. And yet he shares the more mundane aspects of his existence too, the latest and most interesting of which is his early adopting of a commercial car sharing scheme of the kind which is nascent in Melbourne following a contribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state government by way of “development funding” (and talk of a universal smartcard by next year which would work in all public transport, including car sharing vehicles) but which is old news in some other places. This one is Go Get which has a pod just near the Collingwood Library, and operated the first Melbourne programme in conjunction with the City of Darebin. The other main player in Melbourne is Flo, with cars in Richmond and a substantially different pricing structure.You put down a refundable bond of $500, pay a one-off fee of $25, pay a monthly fee of either $15 or $25 and then pay either (i) an hourly rate of either $6.60 or $4.40, plus 35c per km or (ii) a daily rate of $68. And what you get to drive is something like the pictured Yaris. It’s designed to appeal, obviously, to inner city-ites who only use a car on weekends, as well as to families whose second car is an economic drain. The Abbotsford Editor’s experiences are reproduced here:
24 July: I’ve signed up for GoGet sharecars. The idea is that you book your car on the internet then use it for that period, then take it back. Our nearest ‘pod’ is right at Frank’s place so it’s not far to go (8 minutes walk, according to their site figures which corresponds to our many times walking round to Frank’s place). We’ll have a trial going to the Grampians for the weekend on 4 August plus a couple of short local trips first.
29 July: Today, we had our first GoGet carshare experience. After a minor glitch, when we couldn’t find the box for the key for Phoebe the Yaris …, we set off in our new (borrowed) car to do the shopping. Everything worked well, so it bodes well for a very zippy weekend away next weekend. Collingwood Council hadn’t used the car for about a week, so poor Phoebe was a bit lonely but responded well. We’ll make her feel loved.