Carsharing and the Local Economy

It’s easy to understand the environmental impact of car ownership, the greenhouse gases they emit and the process of harvesting, processing and distributing the fuel they use. But less discussed is the impact owning a car has on your local economy. Outside of the harder-to-quantify aspects of urban sprawl, decline of local businesses and cost of vehicle infrastructure, let’s consider an individual consumer’s spending.

…According to AAA, the average American spends an average of $8,485 per year on their cars. A collaborative project called the Intelligent Communities program, which includes the National Building Museum, estimates that only $1,390 of that total stays in the driver’s local economy. The rest is spent on goods and services like gasoline and car insurance, which don’t directly benefit the economy of the driver’s community.  — From Magazine’s highlight of IBM’s new public data aggregator

from Manitoba's Local Produce Guide

Comparable to the AAA numbers, the average Canadian spends about $8,000 CAD per year on owning and operating a car according to CAA. On average, we estimate that 30% of the money spent on a car stays in the local economy instead of the 16% figure from the Govtech’s analysis of the AAA numbers. In Manitoba, we benefit from public provincial insurer that employs Manitobans and supports local NGO funders such as United Way. We also benefit from Red River Co-op which pays dividends of fuel usage to it members and a host of local and independent Garage services.

However, even with all of these benefits, 70% of what an average Manitoban spends on their vehicle will not directly benefit their local economy. In line with buy-local programs like 10% Shift or the Province’s Buy Manitoba food campaign, consider how carsharing can benefit the local economy. In the same way that carsharing off-sets your environmental impact by spreading the individual burden of green house gas emissions and fuel productions across a broader membership, carsharing reduces the impact on the Manitoba economy.

Peg City Car Co-op is a member of Red River Co-op and both a supplier and purchaser for Social Purchasing Portal Winnipeg. Our goal is to reduce the overall number of cars on the road by sharing them, relying on other, cleaner (and local) modes for your daily transportation. Buy from – and fix – your Bike at a local shop, Walk to your neighbourhood grocery store, and take a Bus manufactured in-province. Bike. Walk. Bus. And Sometimes, Drive.

Thanks to Molly Johnson and member David Leibl for their input on this post!

… And, Sometimes Five (May 2012)

1. Jane’s Walk May 5 & 6

Jane’s Walk celebrates the ideas and legacy of urbanist Jane Jacobs by getting people out exploring their neighbourhoods and meeting their neighbours. Free walking tours held on the first weekend of May each year are led by locals who want to create a space for residents to talk about what matters to them in the places they live and work. Since its inception in Toronto in 2007, Jane’s Walk has expanded rapidly. In May of 2011, 511 walks were held in 75 cities in 15 countries worldwide.

In 2012 Walks are taking place all around Winnipeg led by Local Tour Leaders. Two of our board members are even hosting walks, including the one in Osborne Village, voted Canada’s Greatest Neighbourhood by the Canadian Institute for Planners!

2. Giveaway Weekend/Compost Bin Sale  May 12

The City of Winnipeg has two events happening this weekend!

Giveaway weekend encourages you to put your used items out on the curb for neighbours to pick up.

The one day Compost Bin Sale  runs from 8am to 4pm and offers both compost bins, rain barrels, compost turners, and kitchen scrap pails at a reduced price.

3.  Osborne Community Clean up May 5

The River/Osborne Community clean-up will take place Saturday, May 5th from 9:30-12pm at the Gas Station Theatre.

The Lord Robert clean-up will take place Saturday, May 12th from 9:30-12pm at the Lord Roberts Community Centre.

Help pick up litter, beautify our neighbourhoods and enjoy a BBQ together!

4. Ride of Silence   May 16

10th Annual International Event!

At 7:00 PM, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

Winnipeg Route:

The ride starts at the north side of Legislative Building, proceeds for 12.6K at a speed no faster than 20KPH, and finishes at The Forks Market under the big canopy.

  • Start at the north side of Legislative Building.
  • East on Broadway Ave.
  • North on Main St.
  • West on Redwood Ave.
  • South on Charles St.
  • East on 
Burrows Ave.
  • South on Main St.
  • West on St Mary Ave.
  • South on Kennedy St.
  • East on Assiniboine Ave.
  • North on Fort St.
  • East on York 
  • North on Waterfront Dr.
  • Turn around at the roundabout at Bannatyne Ave.
  • South on Waterfront Drive to The Forks Market and 
finish under big canopy.

5. Worker Co-op Video Series

Video screening feature local worker co-ops:  ANAK, Ram Wools, Mondragon, Organic Planet, Urban Eatin’, Enviro-Safe Cleaning, Natural Cycle

Tickets at: Mondragon, Organic Planet, Ram Wools.