The Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative is seeking members as it aims to hit the road this fall.

Car-share programs give members the opportunity to use a vehicle without owning one, making it easy to pick-up groceries or run other errands. Unlike vehicle rentals, car sharing vehicles can be booked by the hour. 

'It's pretty simple.'— Fred Khonje

The cars will be located in Nutana, Buena Vista and Varsity View, and be easily accessible by bike and transit. Members use an online booking system to request the date and time they want the wheels.

As the car-share grows, members will determine where future pick-up locations will be located.

Fred Khonje, the co-op's board chair, said it's easy to use.

"You book your car," he said. "Select the time and date that you actually want to get the car. Go to your car. Do a swipe over it with your keyless fob. Get in the car. Drive to where you want to go. Bring it back to your parking spot and then walk away. It's pretty simple."

The co-op hopes to sign up at least 45 people in the next few weeks. Those membership fees will cover the cost of buying three vehicles.

According to the co-op, one shared car replaces at least eight individually owned cars.

Saskatoon's other car-sharing program is operated on the University of Saskatchewan campus by a car rental company.

In Regina, a car share co-op has been running since 2009.  It currently boasts about 34 members, and operates one vehicle.  But it aims to add a second, which will be parked at Regina City Hall. 

One developer has offered to supply a vehicle, in the hope that residents of a housing project will join the co-op and reduce the need for parking spots.

Rates (Sasktoon CarShare Co-operative)

Join (one-time fees)

$500 membership share (refundable)

$30 application fee (non-refundable)

$10 key fob deposit (refundable)

Usage Fees

$4/hour

$0.50 + fuel surcharge*/km

Monthly Fees

$30

* A fuel surcharge addresses unpredictable gas prices while keeping rates stable and fair. The surcharge is calculated based on average gas prices in Saskatoon that month and is applied once the price of gas is above $1.00 per litre. At that point, the surcharge increases by one cent for every 10-cent increase in the price of a litre of gas. For example, if the average price of gas in Saskatoon is $1.20 per litre, the fuel surcharge would be $0.02, so the total cost would be $0.52/km.

Source: Saskatoon CarShare Co-operative