nb-michel-desjardins-car-share-moncton

Michel Desjardins hopes to have the program rolling by the fall. (Facebook)

The greater Moncton area is getting a car-sharing program, the first of its kind in the province.

It will allow members to "have access to a car without the burden and the cost of owning one," said Michel Desjardins, of Post Carbon Moncton, one of the organizers.

Under the program, called Autopartage Codiac Autoshare, people will pay about $40 for an annual membership, said Desjardins.

They can then reserve a car from the most convenient location for them, pick it up, return it to wherever they got it, and pay a rate based on usage at the end of each month, much like the CarShareHFX model in Halifax.

About 350 people have already expressed interest on Facebook in the program, a joint partnership between Post Carbon Moncton, EOS Energy and Codiac Transpo, said Desjardins.

He hopes to have four cars ready to roll from various locations in Moncton, Riverview and Dieppe by this fall, he said.

Desjardins estimates the car share program will cut back on members' transportation expenses by up to 65 per cent.

There are also other benefits, he said.

"People who typically use the car-share service typically use the bus more, they typically use bicycles more, they typically walk more, so these are all things we believe are important for the future of our community."

Student Jean-Charles Theriault said he has heard of car-sharing programs in other cities and would gladly sign up for one in Moncton.

He currently shares a car with his girlfriend, who is also a student, and the arrangement doesn't always work, he said.

"It's complicated sometimes, having only one vehicle, especially now with internships soon, one of us might have to be in another city, it would be very useful for us," said Theriault.