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My Sustainable Day-Cation in Mississauga Day 5: Going Car Free in Mississauga

Whew! It’s already been a whirlwind tour through Mississauga, seeing everything from their exciting new transit plans to their built-to-LEED Silver standards Garry W. Morden Centre to the amazing O’Connor Park, and now it comes down to the final day. Now my original plan was to write about Mississauga’s new AutoShare Program, their electric vehicle additions to their fleet and my talk with the Mayor, but it just wasn’t going to fit in a reasonable length blog post. So, for the first time ever on this blog, I’ll be doing a sixth article. Look for that tomorrow! But for now, let’s talk about cars.

Now it’s no secret that many of the communities in the GTHA are highly automobile dependent. Our cities have been built to accommodate cars for almost 60 years, so it’s really no surprise that many cities now find themselves more reliant on the automobile than they would prefer to be. What’s really exciting to see is the ways that cities have begun to use a variety of tools available to them to start to wean themselves off of automotive transportation. In Mississauga, residents have more transportation options now than ever. There are more bike paths, sidewalks, multi-use trails and transit routes than ever before in Mississauga, all of which provide residents with the option to leave their car at home.

Some prime parking spots are reserved for the AutoShare cars, making them highly visible and accessible to residents and to City staff.

What’s even more exciting is the recent developments in Mississauga which provide residents with a viable option to live without a personal vehicle. The development of Mississauga’s downtown, centered around Square One Shopping Centre and the major transit hub that serves it, provides residents with a place that is well served by transit and has most, if not all of the amenities you need for daily life within walking distance. But for those times when you need to go somewhere that you can’t bike or take transit to, there is now another choice in Mississauga. AutoShare has arrived!

For those of you not familiar with car-sharing, you should check out my article here. The gist of it is that you pay an hourly rate to rent a vehicle whenever you need it. It means that those other 23 hours of the day when you’re not using the car, it’s available for use by someone else!

One of the two AutoShare vehicles that await drivers in Mississauga.

Right now, there are two AutoShare vehicles in Mississauga. During the day one of the vehicles is available and used exclusively by City employees. For employees that don’t drive to work the Car-Share Service provides a convenient travel option to get to business meetings or site visits. Employees can also book the vehicles using their personal account for errands that sometimes require a car like picking-up the kids from school or getting to an appointment.

During evenings and weekends, the vehicles are available to the public to book and use as needed. Using Transit, Active Transportation and the AutoShare vehicles, it’s easy to see how someone living in downtown Mississauga could very easily avoid the expense, the hassle and the increased emissions associated with private vehicle ownership.

The digital box inside the AutoShare vehicle lets you know how far you’ve traveled, when the vehicle has to be back and a host of other things. It’s like your own little valet.

It’s all part of the transportation cocktail theory I’ve discussed before on this blog. It’s about using the right tool for the job rather than relying on the same tool for every situation, and it’s about making our communities more connected, more livable and more sustainable. Mississaugans of all stripes are recognizing the need to live more sustainably (the Let Your Green Show Campaign is showing that off!), and tomorrow I’ll talk to the Mayor of Missisauga, Hazel McCallion, to hear about where her city is going next and what she is doing to help it get there.

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  1. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Mississauga Day 5: Going Car Free in Mississauga | mississaugalivinggreen - November 15, 2012

    […] Reblogged from Clean Air Partnership […]

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