By Michael Parris
Car-share company GoGet will launch in Newcastle on Tuesday after securing an agreement to base some of its vehicles under a property developer’s Wickham apartment buildings.
GoGet has about 3500 cars in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane and hopes to have 15 to 20 cars on the streets of Newcastle by early October.
The Newcastle Herald reported in February that Newcastle council had agreed to investigate whether to turn over some of the city’s on-street parking spaces to car-share operators.
Deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen said on Monday that council staff were working on a policy to accommodate companies such as GoGet.
GoGet’s head of locations and partnerships, Christopher Vanneste, said the company was negotiating with the council about accessing on-street parking spaces.
“We’ve given them a proposal of where we’re looking for an expected initial network, obviously fairly focused on that kind of inner-city place we usually start and grow out,” he said.
“Depending on how quickly Newcastle residents take it up, 100 cars you’re probably looking at a two- to three-year growth plan.”
But the company will make its initial foray into the Newcastle market on Tuesday after striking a deal with Thirdi Group offering apartment buyers or their tenants three years of GoGet credits.
Thirdi director Luke Berry said on Monday that eight GoGet vehicles would be housed under two apartment buildings under construction in Wickham. Two more would be based at Thirdi’s sales office and under the already completed West apartment block.
Mr Berry and GoGet head of communications Jonathan Englert said GoGet customers who were not residents of the apartment buildings also would be able to access the car parks to use the vehicles.
“This is essentially the announcement of the launch in Newcastle,” Mr Englert said.
“Developments can be a really great way to launch because developers get the benefit of what you could call a competitive advantage, which makes the properties more enticing, and the communities get the benefit.”
The vehicles will be a combination of passenger cars, vans and utes, all of which users return “back to base”.
Mr Berry said car sharing made sense given his buildings’ proximity to the Newcastle Interchange.
He said access to GoGet cars would make apartments without a dedicated parking spot more appealing to investors, tenants and couples who wanted to get rid of their second car.
“I’ve had to give up selling parks to do this,” he said.
“Usually a developer hates not having enough parks to give every unit a park.”
Mr Berry said GoGet and Thirdi had calculated the average inner-city dweller needed a car to travel about 25 kilometres a week.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE: