by Gareth Hughes
Today is World Carfree Day – how did you get around?
Did you have a choice of safe walking or cycling; or to catch a bus, train or ferry; or were you like many Kiwis and was driving your only choice?
World Carfree Day is a great day to say we deserve choices about how we can get around. Carfree day is all about celebrating how great our towns and cities would be if they had more people, more parks and fewer cars. Reducing our dependence on cars and our vulnerability to rising and volatile oil prices will only happen if we take a balanced approach to transport spending and don’t blow it all on new motorways.
The Green’s plan is for a smart approach that invests in sustainable, modern, affordable, and reliable public transport.
My first function this morning was in Ōhariu in a suburb not well catered for by buses and not at all by train. Driving was my only option so I thought I’d try out City Hop’s car-share scheme and invite Labour MP Charles Chauvel to join me.
Car-share is a smart green idea that enables many people to benefit from access to a car, without having to pay all the costs that come with ownership.
There are cars parked in key spots around the city. If you are a member, you get a swipe card key that gives you access when you have booked the car. At the end of the month, you get a bill for the hours you have driven. All the costs, including petrol and insurance, are included.
It’s convenient, it’s greener, it can save you heaps of money, and the more people that benefit from car share, the more our towns and cities benefit from having fewer cars on the road and parked.
It’s a good message for Carfree Day – it’s good to share.