02 September 2009

transportation transformation

I'm halfway through a busy full week of work and other adventures, leading up to a weekend with Hubby's extended family in a cabin north of Nanaimo.

Our biggest news this week was Monday's purchase of a new(er) vehicle. We traded in the 97 Caravan for a 2003 Kia Sedona. The financing they offered was so miserable that we split the full price of the vehicle between our Visa cards (5.4% versus 9.8% -- kind of a no-brainer, plus our payments can be more aggressive than with a standard loan). The van seems to be in good shape; it's roomy, comfy and should get slightly better mileage but it is still a minivan. We did look at other vehicles, many of which were smaller, but in the end, the minivan really meets most of our needs.


I was on the fence last year about a parking pass for campus but I ended up buying a "flex pass" which allowed up to 12 days a month parking. The only time I came close to using 12 days was July and August when I was also driving Kiddo to camp -- the rest of the year I probably used 12 days total and didn't need to use that many, either. This year I flat out refused to buy a pass.

However, that does make me eligible for the University's Employee Car-Share program. Basically, the employer pays for (and owns) the shares in the Victoria Car-Share Co-op and, if I am accepted into the program, I would pay any monthly admin fees plus usage, etc. The co-op is much larger than it was 10 years ago (holy cow!) when I first heard about it and includes 4 vehicles on campus.

The fleet includes two pick-up trucks which would round out the few tasks the minivan can't really do, and the other cars may come in handy on those two or three days a year that we really do need more than one vehicle. (Of course, if I am not accepted into the UVic program, I could always pay the share price myself.) Either way, my regular commute will still be by transit or bike, any car-share use would be supplemental.

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