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Gazette Article

Artarmon’s wide transport choices

Artarmon may not be as lucky as Dr Seuss's Marvin K Mooney who could go by zike-bike, crunk-car or zumble-zay but we still have an impressive array of travel options. There are trains (if you can scale the station stairs), council shuttle buses, taxis and share cars, plus Artarmon lies at the hub of a significant network of walking and cycling routes.

When WCC analysed city-wide travel patterns, it found parts of east Artarmon had the city's highest rate of car commuting. This prompted a “local motion” project last year to increase awareness and promote Artarmon households' use of transport alternatives in the interests of cleaner air, less congestion and better heath.

For those not captured by “local motion”, a certain mystery may still veil some Artarmon transport options. Many residents would have heard of new car share vehicles available in Artarmon and perhaps wondered how introducing more cars to Artarmon helps reduce our car dependence.

The logic of car sharing is that people can pay as they go for access to a car or second car rather than shouldering the substantial one-off or annual costs of a car purchase, registration and insurance. Nor is the car constantly in the garage or driveway screaming: “Take me, take me!” every time you venture out.

Car-share is particularly successful in higher density areas where parking is at a premium and car “pods” are within easy reach of most residents. GoGet introduced car sharing to Artarmon in 2008, five years after launching in Newtown. Their first two Artarmon cars were located at the Cameron St carpark and Broughton Rd, both a stone's throw from the station. This year, they have added five more cars at new locations in Francis, Hampden and Jersey roads.

“GoGet and Artarmon go really well together,” GoGet co-founder Bruce Jeffreys told the Gazette. “Car share grows out of the needs of the community. In Artarmon you see some great things coming together: urban lifestyle, convenient and affordable transport, better ways of using our resources and residents who are embracing these options.”

GoGet members choose a scheme and pay a monthly fee plus an amount per km but no petrol costs. They book on-line, collect the car using a swipe card and purchase petrol with a card kept in the glove-box. There are more than 100 GoGet members in Artarmon, including businesses, which use the sharing service for fleet management.

One Artarmon convert to car sharing is Adrian Shiel (pictured) who did the sums and sold his car. His regular use of share vehicles has included moving house, weekend get-aways and ferrying shopping from Chatswood. Stranded once with too much to carry he simply dialled up to book a nearby share car.

So car-share members are likely to consider what is the easiest, most efficient and economical choice for their trip rather than automatically taking a car. If they choose a car for journeys that require a car and pick public transport, cycling, walking or zumble-zay for other trips, they reduce their impacts on the community and environment. Car-sharing also allows choice of a car to fit the trip – say a small fuel-efficient car or possibly even an electric vehicle for people-transport but a van to move furniture.

For links to more information on car sharing, the Artarmon loop shuttle service and public transport, cycling and walking in Willoughby go to Council's transport

by Alethea Morison

Courtesy of Gazette May 2012
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