Carsharing service Goget is rallying customers to oppose elements of a revised carsharing policy drafted by the City of Sydney, regardless of whether they “carshare within … the council area”.
The service emailed customers today imploring them to “let council know that carshare is an important part of your transport mix, and encourage [councils] to continue their support in the future.”
“As the largest council in Australia for carshare, what is decided in the new policy has impacts on carshare across Sydney and in other cities,” Goget said.
“It is so important that council now hear the voice of carshare users. Your submission can be as long or short as you like, but it is important and it will be heard.”
The City of Sydney is currently consulting on the first update to a carsharing policy it wrote in 2011.
Among the proposed changes – which Goget has taken issue with – are annual “administration” fees and the guarantee of parking spaces for carshare operators only up until 2020.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported last month that the administration fee is proposed to be $220 per allocated parking space. Currently, 670 spaces are allocated to carshare operators in the council area.
Goget said in its email that it is “talking with council about improving” the proposed fees, which it said would increase costs and argues are disproportionate to “what a private car owner pays to park”.
“Feedback so far from members is that they would like a carshare policy that has fair charging for on-street spaces, with car share vehicle permits tied to and costing exactly the same as residential car parking permits,” Goget argued.
“Carshare users want to at least be on an equitable footing as car owners.”
Residents of the City of Sydney currently pay between $52 and $103 for a parking permit, less than the administration fee proposed for a carshare space.
Goget claims that “each carshare car takes 10 private cars off the road” – the imputation being that it potentially frees up parking spaces in the tight inner suburbs of Sydney and shouldn’t be financially punished given its potential for positive impact.
The service is also raising concerns with council over the “four year horizon to June 2020 for carshare”, claiming that “most transport concessions are reviewed every 7 to 12 years.”
It claimed that feedback from members was for a policy that “provides long term certainty for customers and car share service providers with a longer term approach to the underlying objectives and principles.”
The City of Sydney is accepting submissions up until June 20.
Goget is currently fighting or has fought similar moves by other councils to raise fees charged to carsharing operators over the past few years.
In particular, Mosman Council in Sydney’s north last year proposed a significant fee hike above the cost of residential parking permits for carshare, which provoked a similar response from Goget.
It is now consulting on a proposal to charge a $400 “application fee” and $290 a year fee per parking space. Submissions to that consultation close on June 16.
Goget has been warring with Sydney councils in particular over the issues of fees since at least 2011, when Waverley Council raised the prospect of fees. That stoush ended with Waverley imposing a $200 application fee and maximum $173 a year annual fee for parking spaces.
Other councils such as the City of Fremantle and the City of Vincent in Western Australia have more recently wrestled with setting carsharing policies of their own, based on the earlier experiences of councils on the east coast.