Consciously car-free: Come share in the freedom!

By: Ashley Keenan

There is no denying we have created a vehicle centered culture. Cities are built around car ownership, and decades of marketing have convinced us that not only do we want to own personal automobiles but we feel we need them. As teenagers we lusted after car ownership, in adulthood we associate it with success and achievement. The bottom line is programmed into us – cars equal freedom. You have the ability to go where you want, when you want, and with whom you want.

We don’t usually think of  car ownership as a choice, but rather something you can either afford,  or 
not afford. One year ago I chose to give up my car for a variety of reasons; it needed expensive repairs, parking pass prices were increasing, and to be honest driving on a daily basis was becoming a source of stress. After months of thought I dove head first into the sharing economy —  organizations like Community CarShare which share an asset or a service with multiple users. The sharing economy has exploded around the world,  encouraging mutual use of things like cars, bikes, and tools which used to be only available to those who could purchase their own. I think the best thing about the sharing economy is you no longer have to chose between mobility and freedom. In fact I noticed  some great added perks:

  • Time efficiency – without a car you need to plan ahead and make the best use of your time
  • Physical activity – walking between locations, bus transfers and no longer hitting the drive-thru leads to a healthier lifestyle
  • Significant savings – even with the cost of taking the bus, using bike sharing and carsharing, I was still saving money since I didn’t need to pay for parking, gas, maintenance, and insurance
  • Less stress – I wasn’t wasting time in traffic(goodbye road rage) and I have more disposable income for life’s little pleasures
  • Increased sense of community – by far the most rewarding perk! I was surprised to learn how the car acts as a barrier to the world on the other side of that metal door

Keep in mind there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution to car ownership, however it is amazing that we have so many choices in how we get around. People who choose to own cars also do so for valid reasons and there is nothing wrong with that; what we need is the choice! In my experience more modes of transportation equals more freedom. If you have been on the fence on whether or not to become car-free come take the plunge and share in the freedom!

New Year, New Hours

The Hamilton Office is now closed on Thursdays instead of Fridays. The office phone line is also unanswered on Thursdays between 11 AM and 1 PM for a staff meeting/lunch. For urgent issues, members can contact the reservation line (The number is located on the back of your Smart Card). Otherwise, please leave a message and we’ll return your call as soon as possible. Our Offices are open 10 AM-5 PM Monday – Friday. We recommend calling ahead before stopping in so that we can make sure a staff person is dedicated to meeting with you.

How did Drew Ripley get his business off the ground? With CarShare of course!

Drew got his start with Community CarShare

Drew got his start with Community CarShare

“When I was starting out with my business (Drew Ripley Entertainment) Community CarShare was essential to making it happen. At the very beginning, I only occasionally needed a car, and if I had been tied down with car payments in that early stages I never would have been able to start. CarShare gave me the freedom to start a business without the upfront investment of car ownership.

Over time my business grew. I had more regular gigs and work trips where often taking me longer distances (300 km+). I could now justify owning my own vehicle, and I purchased the most efficient vehicle that would cover 80% of my trips. CarShare still stayed played a part of my business because the remaining 20% of my trips needed a larger van. This meant I could risk expansion while keeping my costs low.

The business continues to grow. I’m established, and I’ve actually hired on staff to assist. As we grow, so does our CarShare use. They offer both personal and corporate memberships, and as a small business owner I can easily track trips and easily divide out what is personal, and what is business (helps a lot a tax time!)”

Give the Gift of CarSharing!



Seasons greeting members and future CarShare members.

Winter and the holiday season are fast approaching and now it’s time to consider that special person on your gift list.  Whether you’re making a planned (or unplanned) transportation switch in the New Year, or if you or someone you know just needs a new set of wheels, Community CarShare has a great fleet of vehicles for all your needs. We’ve even got a special Holiday deal to help you spread the gift of CarSharing.

Here’s the offer:
For new members:
Purchase a new driving membership which includes the member deposit, application fee, and $55 in driving credit ($98.90 value) for only $60! That’s a savings of almost 40%.

For existing members:
Are you an existing member and looking for a way for someone to give you a gift as well? You can also buy driving credit as a gift, or even arrange a surprise gift of driving credit for an existing member.  Purchases over $100 will receive a bonus amount added of 10%, up to a maximum of $500.

Your last day to get the deal and set yourself up for the new year is December 31st, 2016 so act now!
(Edit: this promotion has now closed, please contact us for our latest offers)

Got more questions? Get in touch and we’d be glad to help you out. If you haven’t looked into us lately we have new cars, new locations, better rates, and even an awesome program where we deliver the car to you.


New Cars are Here!

Spring is here and Community CarShare is growing! We are adding new parking locations, new vehicles AND adding cars to popular locations. Check out our new additions below and stay tuned for more new cars next week.


Bread and Roses

It’s no secret that we like to work with other Co-ops and this location is absolutely thriving. We have added a lovely, Red Corolla and our newest vehicle type, the RAV 4, to this location. This makes three cars at the Bread and Roses Housing Co-op including the Blue Prius C; we said farewell to the former red Matrix who made the journey to Hamilton!



Queen and Weber

We have added a third car to serve the Central Frederick area in the heart of downtown Kitchener. This location is close to KPL, the Region of Waterloo headquarters and our spot at 150 Frederick St. Be sure to check out this 2016 Toyota Corolla if you are in the downtown area!




Emerald and Main

We are continuing to move East in Hamilton; much to our members enjoyment! We are happy to add a car to the corner of Main and Emerald behind the Gibson’s Drugstore. This is not only a new location but Hamilton’s first spot for our new vehicle model the RAV 4.


McMaster University

While this is not a new parking location we have upgraded the Yaris to a Matrix for a little more space and flexibility for those who need it!

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Rebecca and Catharine

Displaying 20160526_121511.jpgDisplaying 20160526_121511.jpgDisplaying 20160526_121511.jpgThis lot is a great addition to our downtown core cars. Parallel to downtown this location has a vehicle access off John Street and a pedestrian only access off Rebecca and Catharine. Relocated from McMaster University this Yaris is ready for all your carsharing needs!


Coronation Area and Outdoor Pool

We heard your pleas for more parking locations in Westdale! We know it’s a hard neighbourhood to find parking but the generous folks at Coronation Area and Outdoor Pool have offered their lot. Check out the new home for our lovely red Dodge Caravan; previously loved at Hamilton City Hall.


Hamilton City Hall

Some of you may be surprised to go to City Hall and see your trusty red caravan is no longer around; that’s because you have been 1 of the 2 locations in Hamilton chosen for a brand new RAV 4. Don’t worry we still kept it the same lovely red colour for riding in style!



Beverly St. Lot. 

Civic Square Parking Lot

Community CarShare now has two cars in Cambridge. We are so excited to launch the final city in the tri-city area! To start off our service in Cambridge we have added two blue Prius C cars to the downtown Galt area. Members are loving it and we can’t wait to expand to other areas of Cambridge in the future.


Bike to Work Day – May 30th

On May 30th our Community CarShare staff attended Bike to Work Day at Hamilton City Hall and Cambridge City Hall to promote sustainable transportation. There are many modes of transportation in any city – buses, vehicles, bikes, walking, rollerblading etc – and it is so important to utilize multiple modes to create complete, sustainable trips!

We had a great time talking to members, potential members and cycling enthusiasts.


Community CarShare is Coming to Cambridge!

Great news! Community CarShare and the City of Cambridge are celebrating the launch of two CarShare vehicles on Mon. May 16, 2016. The City of Cambridge is providing support for the two vehicles, which will both be stationed near Cambridge City Hall, and provide an alternative transportation option for residents, as well as City employees. Community CarShare now offers service in Kitchener-Waterlooo, Hamilton, Burlington, London, Guelph, St. Catharines, Elmira, and Cambridge!

We would be glad to have you attend our launch event. Here are some more details:

What: Community CarShare and the City of Cambridge will launch two CarShare vehicles.
When: Mon. May 16, 2016, 11am-12pm
Where: Civic Square Parking Lot with reception to follow in the Bowman Room, 1st Floor, Cambridge City Hall, 50 Dickson St., Cambridge.

The first two vehicles in our Cambridge fleet are the Toyota Prius C, but we’re not content to stop there. We’ve already secured parking in many other areas of Cambridge, and we encourage anyone who is interested to apply so we can start quickly on expanding the fleet.cambridge

New Rates coming in June 2016

Community CarShare is changing some of our rates effective June 1, 2016. For a more detailed breakdown click here; but check out the highlights below!

Rate changes are a necessary part of growing a healthy and successful business; we ran several data analyses to make sure the increase would be able to support the financial sustainability of the co-op, while providing the same low rates that our members love.

The Highlights:

  • Hourly rates are only going up by 50¢/hour and per km rates are going down! (we know the km cost was a point of interest for many members so we worked hard to bring that cost to you down)
  • Monthly Membership fees will not change
  • For most members (75%), the changes will result in a billing increase of no more that $10/month (based on usage data from the past year).
  • Change to booking increments: now 15 minutes! – This was a huge step for reducing member costs by allowing you more control over reservation times

The Changes:

For all plans (except Corporate Distance Plan):

  • per km rate reduced from 30¢/km to 25¢/km
  • all hourly rates increased by $0.50/hr
  • number of initial hours changing from 4 hours to 5 hours

For Corporate Distance Plan:

  • per km rate increasing to 46¢/km from 44¢/km
  • minimum kms/hour billed increasing to 16/hr from 15/hr

Quantum Changes:

  • Introducing a new flat rate for booking Quantum reservations – $7.50 per booking
  • Most members will save money on this flat rate as opposed to the former $2/hour fee

The Wrap-Up:

When rates change it is important to make sure you on the monthly plan that best suits your driving needs. If you need any clarification on the changes or what plan you should be on give us a call at 1-855-742-7399 and we will help you figure it out!

We’re back at Breithaupt Block!

Last fall, we let you know that the station at Breithaupt Block was becoming part of the co-op’s Quantum Station Program. Thanks to your resounding feedback and support this station has been upgraded to a full-time station!

As of May 1, 2016 a brand new, vibrant red Prius C Hybrid is now at the Breithaupt Block in Kitchener! And that’s just the beginning, we’ll be adding 14 new vehicles over the next several weeks.

Be sure to check out what new cars we are rolling out in our seven service areas over the next few months or sign up for our newsletter to stay on top of the exciting changes happening at Community CarShare.



Stinson Returns!

Last fall, we let you know that unfortunately we lost our parking spot at Stinson School. We have been working hard to get back into that neighbourhood to serve our members better.

Thanks to the City of Hamilton, we’re excited to announce our return to the neighbourhood at Central Memorial Recreation Centre as of May 1, 2016.

There is a lovely, new, black Toyota Prius C stationed at 93 West Avenue S. If you’re unfamiliar with the building, it’s near Stinson and Victoria, by the Claremont Access.

Members – until the sign is installed please park in the centre of the lot closest to the road. Our sign will be up shortly to indicate the proper spot.Cropped 91