Today I met with Johan Stroman, the executive director of the Coast Car Co-op. We talked over coffee at Molly’s reach. Johan was brimming with excitement about the coming launch of the car sharing co-op.
The Coast Car Co-op aims to give Coasters an environmentally helpful, low-cost means of driving the Sunshine Coast–and driving in Vancouver too. Johan says the co-op will solve many transportation problems for him, his wife, and their toddler daughter. They have a car but like most families, they sometimes need to drive to separate destinations. Using a co-op car will be cost far less than buying a second vehicle.
Other people might consider getting rid of their car and using only the co-op. After all, joining the car co-op will mean they never have to worry about squatting at the roadside in a heavy rain to fix a flat, calculating the date of the next necessary tune-up, or waiting 10 hours in the shop while the mechanic installs a head gasket. If a co-op car breaks down, the co-op will take care of it. Members pay a fee for each hour they drive. The co-op pays for the gas.
As for driving in Vancouver, the co-op negotiated an agreement with the MODO car-share system. User of the Coast Car Co-op will soon be able to walk on the ferry and hop into a car in Horseshoe Bay.
The co-op, set to launch in February, already has 40 members. Individuals pay $400 for shares in the non-profit organization, which they can get back if they ever decide to leave the co-op. But, barring a move to Inuktitut, I doubt if many members would ever want to drop out of the organization. As far as transportation options go, the Coast Car Co-op sounds like the next best thing to a having a magic carpet pick you up at your door.