Sharing cars to serve sustainability

New car sharing program will enable those 21 and over to access vehicle for a fee

One of three local VRTUCARs sits parked on campus for the Queen’s community to use. The other two cars are located in downtown Kingston.
One of three local VRTUCARs sits parked on campus for the Queen’s community to use. The other two cars are located in downtown Kingston.

Queen’s and the City of Kingston have paired with VRTUCAR, an Ottawa-based car sharing company, to offer a program that will provide the community with alternative transportation.

The car share program allows people to share the one car on campus and two downtown. The members can sign up online to book the car whenever they need it. On campus, it’s geared towards students and faculty members that don’t have access to a car.

According to Aaron Ball, sustainability manager, the initiative is closely aligned with the new Climate Action Plan – an initive that hopes to make Queen’s sustainble and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is the first launch,” Ball said.

There are two types of plans: the infrequent plan, where people can pay a $100 membership fee and then they pay per use (depending on mileage and time). The second plan has a $500 refundable driver deposit with a monthly fee dependent on the usage (miles and time), he said.

The company will cover fuel, maintenance,and insurance.

Potential drivers must have a full license and be a minimum age of 21. Those between 21 and 23 must have a five-year clean driving record as well.

“We want to provide a way for students and faculty members to get around campus,” Ball said.

“As memberships grow, we will look for new spots too, but more car-sharing cars.”

Wilson Wood, president of VRTUCAR told the Kingston Whig Standard that an estimated 20 people will use each four-door compact car.

Students can log on to the website and see the availabilities that each car has. They keys can be picked up at the car’s location by their self-serve securities system. There are no time restrictions; these cars can be booked at anytime in the day but must be picked up and dropped off at their specific location.

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