David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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ACHIEVEMENT: 800 people in one area subscribe to a car library of 50 cars.

TARGET DATE: December 2004 PROGRESS: Significant.

I first raised this for consideration by the Council in 1999. Reports have been written by Council that examined the feasibility of the Council catalysing a Car Library in inner-Melbourne. Progress was extremely slow for a couple of years.

I sponsored and got unanimous support for a pilot car sharing program in the City of Melbourne in 2002. The administration has still failed to provide the details of that pilot and appear to be reluctant to take the action needed to establish car sharing in Melbourne.

In September 2003, with proposed changes to parking arrangements in Carlton, I pushed hard to introduce car sharing in Carlton as a means of providing choices to those who might be facing a reduction in on street parking. In discussions with both Flo Car Share and Newtown Car Sharing, it appears that car sharing will now be launched in Carlton and Fitzroy before Christmas. Newtown operate a small, less than 10 car operation, in Newtown, Sydney.

18 November 2004: I am sitting at a conference in the City of Melbourne called 'Re-inventing the Private Car - changing personal mobility in the 21st century. There is a reasonable amount of enthusiasm for consolidating car sharing operations in Melbourne. A car sharing scheme will be launched this afternoon in the City of Darebin, which is a wonderful development.

DESCRIPTION: Car libraries are the four wheeled equivalent of the normal book library you are familiar with. They already operate in parts of Europe and the United States.

One example of how a car library may operate is as follows: An individual joins the car library, probably paying an annual membership fee of about $50. They are then able to ring up and book a car to hire for any period from 1 hour in order to do the shopping, to a number of days in order to take the family on a holiday. An hourly or daily rate is charged for the car, and the fuel is topped up if it is below a certain level. Cars can be picked up and returned from dedicated spaces that are kept for the vehicles in your neighbourhood. Maintenance and repairs responsibility would be analogous to more traditional hire car arrangements.

The benefit of a car library are that City of Melbourne residents can have a car available for shopping trips and family outings without the need to buy and store a vehicle beyond their typical needs. At the moment, for people wishing to do without a car, taxis are the main alternative. Further, many families appear to maintain a car or second car based simply on the need to have a car for shopping or for the family to go on holidays.

One obvious candidate for operating a car library would be a commercial car hire firm, who already maintain a vehicle fleet and booking facilities supporting it.

FURTHER INFORMATION: One of the apparent difficulties in establishing a car library is the potential cost of establishment of the scheme. I include below extracts of a memo in reply to the costs for providing a Christmas car parking facility.

By my calculation from the information below, the cost to Council of providing temporary Christmas parking was $492 per vehicle! If anywhere near this amount were contributed towards establishment of a car library, the same access issues could be dealt with an a longer term, more sustainable fashion.


In reply to an inquiry from Cr. Risstrom regarding costs associated with offering short term Christmas parking at the RMIT owned CUB site, I can provide the following information:

The site was operated for a 25 day period over December 2001 and January 2002, and incurred a net cost to Council in of $291,000. This cost figure is explained through:
· Site set up and vacating costs of $195,000 (once off cost only, not ongoing)
· Operating costs of $99,000
· Total revenue of $2,782 (585 vehicles)
Thus a net operating cost of approximately $96,000.

During 2002 the site has been used for casual parking to cater for specific events, such as the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show held on April 10-14. On this occasion, Council liaised with the ‘International Management Group’ (IMG) through our Parks & Recreation Branch, and RMIT to offer the site as a venue for short stay parking. The site preparation works done for the 2001 Christmas experience will enable the site to be used for short stay parking options in the future – ie. Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.


Despite the dismal failure of the 2001/02 Christmas parking, Melbourne City Council voted by majority to spend somewhere near $90,000 on it again this year. I will again seek the information on the number of cars enticed to park at the C.U.B. site and provide details on this site when I can.


Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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