Over 100 students are taking advantage of a service that others may not know exists at Algonquin.
It allows its members to travel around the city and up to 200 kilometers away — using borrowed wheels.
For the price of a one-way trip to Kingston, students can rent a car directly from the Algonquin campus and use it at their leisure.
Since 2011, Algonquin has offered an on-campus student car share service.
“We want to make it so easy for them. If they want it (the vehicle) for an hour, if they want it for two hours, it’s easy and it’s accessible to them,” said Michael Lende, CEO and Founder of Student Car Share – Algonquin’s car share partner since 2013 – explains the concept.
VRTUCAR and Student Car Share are the two car share companies represented on campus. Both rent a spot from the college to allow their vehicle to sit in a space, waiting to be used by their members.
“It’s more than what a student would pay because the car can sit there all day long. But, there’s no shared revenue agreement,” says Roch Lafond, manager of Parking, Lockers, Coin Ops and Services.
The initial $75 membership fee includes a $50 renewable membership and a $25 one-time application fee.
In addition to 24/7 access to a vehicle, insurance and gas, Lende says there’s also an added bonus.
“It’s a great opportunity to build your insurance history so you can take that with you wherever you go in life. And I really think students value and appreciate that.”
Exactly which students are taking advantage of this service is unknown. The best guess would be that those with the easiest access would be living in residence, given the location of the Student Car Share vehicle.
“We try to put the cars in locations which are either right outside of residences or right outside of student apartment buildings whether they’re on campus or off campus,” said Lende.
Perhaps this is what is drawing students with only a G2 ranked license to using the campus car-sharing program.
“A lot of people take it out,” says Lafond.
“Once you reach a certain number of cars they add another car when demand is there.”
It may be unclear how many more memberships they would need to sell to add another vehicle to the fleet at Algonquin, but what is clear is that students are using the service to their advantage across the country with Student Car Share being represented strongly at Queen’s in Kingston and also at Laurier in Waterloo.