By Danielle Rovillo
Last weekend, Buffalo Carshare cars were seen out and about, all across Western New York. And they just rented their 100th car!
Sometimes we need to get somewhere in a pinch. One Carshare member showed us just how convenient her membership has proven to be.
Kelly Ganzcarz, a member of Porter Farms CSA, used her Carshare Car to pick up the week's veggie shares from Elba, New York. Carshare essentially saved the day when Kelly's plans to hitch a ride to the farm with a friend were spoiled by mechanical failure. Kelly, a "Buffalo Settler" member of Carshare was able to make reservations instantly on the morning of the debacle and headed out to Elba only moments later than planned. She arrived back in Buffalo with a little blue car full of farm fresh goodies for the CSA members. Thank goodness she was a Carshare member; many Elmwood Village residents were depending on her to deliver a week's worth of groceries.
Sometimes we want to operate on our own schedule, and Beverly McLean showed us how her membership has added flexibility to her travel habits.
Beverly McLean, a research faculty member at SUNY Buffalo's School of Architecture and Planning, has a "Buffalo Roamer" membership with Carshare. Beverly has made the most of her membership by using Carshare to extend the accessibility that her NFTA transit pass provides. Although she gets around just fine on the bus and light rail, she sometimes uses Carshare to reach places outside of the public transit purview. In the past she has used Carshare to spend a day at Goat Island and the Niagara Falls State Park. She also frequently uses Carshare to get to meetings and events that are held just off of bus routes in the City. This time, Beverly took a Carshare car out to Ellicott Creek Park in Tonawanda, to enjoy a picnic lunch with UB Planning students and faculty. While the NFTA does provide access to Ellicott Creek Park, the Sunday bus schedule didn't exactly fit with her plans to get to the picnic on time. I clocked the trip using NFTA trip planner and Beverly was up against almost an hour's worth of bus travel that would have dropped her off at the park almost 45 minutes early or 30 minutes late. Thanks to Carshare, she was able to reserve a car that would take her to and from the picnic at her convenience.
These trips are particularly interesting to me because, although I am not currently a Carshare member, I have a real appreciation for the benefits of carsharing that this new company has provided residents. Not only is Carshare great for those who need to haul groceries and household goods across town, but it also extends the accessibility of a public transit user, making it possible to go beyond the bus routes and get around Western New York. I take comfort in knowing that when my 10 year-old Jeep finally bites the dust, there is an affordable option out there that will suit me.
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