T&T COMMITTEE AGENDA
                                                                         FEBRUARY 5, 1997       

                                                            POLICY REPORT

                                                                         Date: January 20, 1997
                                                                         Dept. File No.H193-34
                                                                         C.C. Files 5560-1/5650-1

     TO:              Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic

     FROM:            General Manager of Engineering Services

     SUBJECT:         Parking for Co-operative Auto Network


              A.      THAT the City provide two reserved on-street parking spaces in the West End, two reserved on-street
                      parking spaces in Kitsilano and two additional unspecified locations for a period of one year, for the
                      Co-operative Auto Network vehicles, with the signage cost of $600 funded from existing accounts; and
                      that prior to extending on-street spaces beyond one year, staff report back on the progress of the


              B.      THAT the Co-operative Auto Network be issued resident parking permits for the area in which it operates,
                      at the same costs as paid by other users; and 

                      FURTHER THAT the Co-operative Auto Network be encouraged to secure designated car storage off-street.


              The General Manager of Engineering Services RECOMMENDS B.  Both the West End and Kitsilano residential streets                                                                                                                           
              are heavily parked.  Establishing reserved spaces benefits some users at the loss of the broader neighbourhood. 
              Co-op cars are basically no different than rental cars and cars used by several drivers in one household, and it
              is difficult to rationalize reserved on-street parking.  Approval of this parking would likely give rise to other                                                                                                                              
              requests for reserved on-street parking.  Moreover, the enforcement in these conditions will be constant and


     Council sells permits at cost to residents for on-street parking as a means of securing space.                                                                  - 2 -

     In the past this has been applied to a general area and is not specific to any particular vehicle.

     The draft transportation plan has endorsed the concept of co-operative car ownership.


     The purpose of this report is to explain the concept of cooperative car ownership and submit for Council consideration a
     request from the local organizers of the Co-operative Auto Network (CAN) to provide them with four reserved on-street
     parking spaces.



     Co-operative or shared car ownership is a simple concept in which a group of people share in the ownership and use of a
     car or cars. In most applications the typical ratio is one vehicle shared among ten drivers. 

     The system is administered through a central booking agency. Reservations are set on a first-come first-served basis. It
     provides for individual access to a vehicle when other modes are less convenient but priced in such a way as to make
     frequent car use by any individual improbable.

     The system is financed through a combination of membership and usage charges.

     Development History


     Cooperative car ownership was pioneered in Europe. Successful systems have been operating since the mid 1980s in Germany
     and Switzerland. Presently the European systems claim 20,000 members in over 100 cities and towns.

     Studies show that individuals who join these services travel less by car than before and most shorter-length trips are
     eliminated. Based on these results some transit systems in Europe support these co-operatives because the transit systems
     are able to pick up some of the displaced shorter-length travel. Most European systems receive at least some measure of
     public support by way of grants, etc. No data is available for car ownership of new members, however.

     North America

     The first North American application started in Quebec City in 1994.  This system now supports 400 members with 40 cars.


     The Montreal co-op began in February 1996. As of September 1996 there were 10 cars supporting 140 members. The ratio is
     lower in Montreal because the public transportation system is good. Usage drops in the severe winters but is more
     concentrated in summer weekends. However, because the Montreal system has a "back-up" arrangement with car rental firms,
     over-subscribed demand can still be accommodated during these peak times.

     Vancouver Development

     The Vancouver system has just started.  The Vancouver Co-operative Auto Network "CAN" has been established on a
     not-for-profit basis and the first target neighbourhoods are the West End and Kitsilano. 
     The fee structure is:
     $500             for entry to the system (member's equity)
                      - fully refundable after six months if desired
     $10/month         to cover the booking system
     $1.50            per hour of use
     $0.25            per kilometre of use

     Nineteen members applied after the initial start-up meeting on November 25, 1996.  The prospective members can be
     categorized as follows:
     Own Cars                                                    3
     (All intend to sell on entry)      
     Do Not Own Cars                   16 
     (Had Intended to Buy Soon)          6

     All of the members who currently own cars indicate that they expect to sell their cars.  This group likely use their cars
     only occasionally now and are conscious of the high fixed costs of car ownership. 

     The remainder do not now own a car and some are considering buying one.  This may include people who travel in non-peak
     times or for whom security is an issue.  Car ownership in the West End is restricted. In fact almost 40 percent of
     households own no cars. This is due, in part, to limited parking opportunities. While this program develops access to car
     use, the parking situation may improve as overall car ownership drops. 

     It is not clear whether this system will increase or decrease overall car use.  Since only 15% of members now own cars,
     the initial effect of the introduction will likely be an increase in trips by car.  Trips that are now being made by
     public transit or walking, or are not being made at all, may be accommodated by the shared cars.  In time, the system may
     preclude an increase in the overall number of auto trips, noting that overall automobile ownership would otherwise
     increase.  Thus, in the long-term, the system may tend to reduce car use.


     As the concept matures and gains recognition and its reliability is proven, the proportion of interest by the
     car-owning public may grow, as has been observed in Europe.  This market consists both of two-car households
     disposing of their second car and low-mileage one-car households who dispose of their vehicles as they see the
     economic advantage of joining a co-op.  
     Designated Parking Spaces

     CAN has requested that they be provided with exclusive-use spaces on the street, although off-street storage is
     available at a cost.  The issue of designated parking merits some discussion.  The existing operation of
     Residential Parking Permit Systems allows universal access to street space for all residents providing they have
     paid their fee.  This maximizes the flexibility of the system for all, especially in densely-parked areas like
     the West End and Kitsilano.  Providing the reserved spaces is a diversion from this principle.  Furthermore,
     there are proposals to price on-street parking closer to market levels and staff expect to report on these
     proposals in the future.

     On the other hand, there are precedents of providing dedicated on-street space for commercial loading zones and
     bus stops.

     From the perspective of CAN, dedicated spaces of some kind are certainly preferred so all members can find the
     cars.  The question is whether these spaces should be provided on-street at public expense or whether the co-op
     should secure dedicated off-street spaces at a cost to be absorbed by the users.

     It is not recommended that reserved on-street spaces be provided.  A co-op automobile is still an automobile: 
     although the means of ownership is novel, it is fundamentally no different than a rental car, or a car used by
     several members of the same household.


     Co-operative car ownership is an interesting and proven addition to the array of transportation mode choices for
     an urban dweller.  A principal advantage is that it brings car use within range of those who cannot now afford

     At the same time, co-operative car ownership imposes 'rational economic pricing' so that in the long term, fewer
     overall trips will be made. Generally drivers who use their cars predominantly for city-use and drive less than
     10,000 kilometres a year will be the beneficiaries. Gradually, over time, we would expect to see lower car
     ownership translate into lower parking requirements for central-area neighbourhoods.

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