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Unfair car share

16 Apr 2015

Unfair car share Image

Car rental operator Lee Tambouras says City of Melbourne (CoM) support for car share companies is discriminatory.

The Whiteman St operator says there is no difference between his nine-year-old business and the new share car operators.

The council has allocated two car parking spaces outside Mr Tambouras’s business to a car share company.

“I have tried to contact the council to find out why these businesses get parking and we don’t,” he said.  “When I initially called I was told that some of the spaces are paid and some are allocated to the car share company as they provide a service to the apartments.”

“I was told that car hire was completely different!  When I asked for the definition of car share he told me it is where a customer, who is more than likely local, pays to use a car for short periods of time.  But this is exactly what we do and the apartments around our business make up a huge amount of our trade.”

Mr Tambouras said he was told to write to council’s engineering services manager Geoff Robinson but received no reply.

“I have since called another three times, on each occasion I am told to speak to either Geoff or Andrew Cron, but they are never available. They take my number stating that I will receive a call back, I never have,” he said.

“I have read their transport strategy and it states that, with the rising cost of driving, people will turn to car share.”

“But what is the difference between car share and car hire?  Why do they support these businesses and not mine when they are a profit making company not a charity!”

 The CoM’s 2012 transport strategy says: “Car sharing for residents and businesses is growing and requires dedicated car parking space, particularly in the central city where it suits the high density and mix of uses.”

Mr Tambouras said: “The council states its aim is to reduce long-term parking yet these cars sit here day in day out, I rarely see them being used, and we have to pay for parking.”

“My customers get parking tickets when they are only dropping a car off. It feels like they are making it harder and harder for our business to survive.”

“Why not approach us and the other car hire companies and come up with a solution?”

“We could allocate cars to the apartments. We already have a membership where you can just pay online turn up and take the car.”

A CoM spokesperson said: “The City of Melbourne has recently finished a three-year trial of car share.”

“We are currently in the process of reviewing the trial, with a report to go to the Future Melbourne Committee in the near future which will include recommendations for the way forward,” the spokesperson said.

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