GoGet and other car sharing companies could soon get a major new customer: The New South Wales government.
Seeking to put the brakes on big spending on its car fleets, the NSW government is test driving a car-sharing scheme for state employees.
The government will conduct a six-month trial of car sharing services including GoGet, Hertz 24/7 and GreenShareCar. The services allow member customers book a car online or over the phone and pick it up from one of many locations around a city.
Minister for Finance and Services, Dominic Perrottet, said on Friday that these services “offer a more efficient alternative to a state-owned fleet.”
Car sharing is one of several options under consideration to reduce the more than $250 million spent annually by the NSW government on fleet vehicles, he said.
“It doesn’t make sense for government and taxpayers to foot the bill for purchasing and maintaining more than 20,000 vehicles when some are used only a handful of times each week,” he said.
“Currently, government and taxpayers pay all associated costs of vehicles regardless of how frequently they are used. Under the shared model, in addition to administration charges, we will only need to pay for the length of hire and the kilometres driven.”
GoGet CEO Tristan Sender welcomed the news.
“We are happy to support the NSW government in any way we can to help them reduce their fleet costs and achieve their targets,” he said.
“We know that car share can profoundly reduce costs and improve efficiencies for organisations of all kinds."
The car sharing trial was one recommendation of an independent review by PricewaterhouseCoopers into StateFleet, the organisation that leases vehicles to government agencies. The report recommended that greater competition would improve service quality and reduce costs.
“I’ve asked my department, Office of Finance and Services, to examine the feasibility of private companies having greater involvement in providing vehicles and fleet management services for government agencies,” Perrottet said.
“More competition within government fleet could mean lower expenses for agencies and greater savings for government and taxpayers. These funds could be redirected to provide new services.”
Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine is Yours, a book about collaborative consumption, said a growing number of governments are eying car sharing.
"New technology, greater convenience and smarter resource utilisation are all driving savings in taxpayer dollars.”
GoGet has been seeking partnerships with governments and businesses as it seeks to expand its service. In a recent interview with Computerworld Australia, co-founder Bruce Jeffreys said GoGet hopes to integrate its service with public transportation.
“When we started, it was very much a stand-alone service in which it took a while for people to get their heads around the concept and make the leap,” Jeffreys said at the time.
“The big change is that we’re now really in the integration stage, where the service is bolting into existing infrastructure.”