Car-sharing service GoGet makes regional NSW debut


Posted

July 11, 2018 06:10:23

Sydney-based car-sharing service GoGet will become the first car-sharing service to roll out a fleet in regional New South Wales, with a trial in Orange pitched at government department staffers and weekenders.

The company will start with six cars in the central-west town for the first six months, but plans to expand to other regional areas and add to the Orange fleet if the trial is successful.

As part of the trial, the Department of Primary Industries will use the cars as well as its existing fleet cars, with the aim of reducing its annual car operating expenses.

To use the service, people will have to sign up for a smartcard online, which opens the car after it is booked.

When the user taps a reader on the windscreen, they find keys are inside the car. After they are finished, they return the car to the allocated spot and tap the screen again.

It is then cleaned by GoGet contractors for its next use.

Other locations likely

While the Orange pilot will be used to see if there is regional demand, GoGet head of partnerships Christopher Vanneste said he was in talks with other locations.

“If this trial goes well, we’re definitely looking at other rural communities throughout Australia,” he said.

He would not confirm the towns until the deal was signed.

In Orange, it is hoped the cars will be shared between staffers at the Department of Primary Industries, business and leisure travellers, and residents.

“Having that mid-week, dedicated user will allow us to have them here for evenings and weekends when tourists and locals want to use them,” Mr Vanneste said.

Department’s cost-cutting trial

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said the cars would be used part-time by department staff who needed to go somewhere at short notice but did not have a work car.

“This is just a trial to see how we can integrate this into our existing fleet operations,” he said.

“Obviously we still have our fleet vehicles that are used on a day-to-day basis, particularly staff that need to be mobile, but we do know that we have staff that don’t need to travel all the time that sometimes need a vehicle.”

The Department of Primary Industries currently has 14 cars parked at its Kite Street Headquarters in Orange, at a cost of $21,000 per year per car — or almost $300,000 a year.

The DPI’s cars are currently leased through SG Fleet.

If the trial is successful, it expects to reduce its fleet by two cars.

GoGet’s rates start at $74 a day for frequent users or $6.35 an hour.

The company said its costs were similar to that of a car rental company, but its selling point was convenience and paying for what you used.

“Our main bookings are less than five hours,” Mr Vanneste said.

A long time coming

The relationship between GoGet and government departments, which enabled the Orange fleet, started three years ago.

Mr Vanneste said the DPI had been one of the first to signal an interest in the service for its metropolitan operations.

The ABC understands the department also trialled car-pool sharing to reduce costs.

Mr Vanneste said the Orange-based arrangement was an extension of a successful metropolitan partnership.

“From the numbers we’ve run with them, it looks like it will save them money and bring a service to rural Australia.”

Topics:

government-and-politics,

tourism,

road-transport,

regional,

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