A RUSSELL Island man believes his car share service could help solve some of the parking congestion problems at Redland Bay.
Aaron Pipkorn, who runs Bay Islands Car Share, said he currently had about 160 members on his books sharing a fleet of four vehicles.
He said islanders could pay a minimum of $6 an hour to use one of the cars while on the mainland so they did not have to keep a personal vehicle at the ferry terminal and take up parking space.
Since launching the business under the name SMBI Car Club in 2018, a few of Mr Pipkorn's customers have offloaded their vehicles and moved to using share cars full time.
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He said most had reported not using their personal vehicles very often and that the service had saved them on registration and other costs.
Mr Pipkorn said to keep the business sustainable he needed council support, as he had just two private parking spaces available at Redland Bay for his current four-vehicle fleet.
"At the moment the car parks are kind of scattered around the place but we are hoping that having them closer to the marina will give people a good option once they get off ferries," he said.
"A lot of the spaces in front of the terminal at the moment are between 18 and three hours and some are seven days.
"Our cars can move two or three times a day sometimes. What I am thinking is you just get a more efficient use of the space.
"We have 40 people per car rather than having one person's car there for a week at a time. It is just about using that high value land more efficiently."
A council spokesman said officers had been working with the business but their discussions had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Pipkorn said he had been door-knocking residents and asking whether the cars could be kept on their properties in the interim.
He said he had started a petition calling for council to provide dedicated parking to meet the increasing demand.
A council spokesman said securing permanent parking places required state approval and officers would help the business work through the details of a trial as soon as possible.
Mr Pipkorn said the plan would save rate payers by reducing the need to build more car parks and free up parking space near the ferry terminal.
"I did a survey about a year ago and got 360 respondents, just to find out how often people on the islands travelled," Mr Pipkorn said.
"What I was finding is that 60 to 70 per cent of people travel less than once a week or less than once every two weeks."
A number of islanders have supported the business, saying it has saved them the hassle of having to find a park on the mainland.
Car share services are popular in places like Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, but Mr Pipkorn said to his knowledge his business was the first of its kind in the Redlands.
He said it was a unique solution to a unique problem for islanders, who were still without a bridge after several years of lobbying government.
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