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Strata Communities Urged To Pay Attention To Novel Car Pooling And Public Transport Schemes

Expert Opinion piece – Stephen Raff, CEO of Ace Body Corporate Management.

Australia could be on the verge of seeing its first ever ‘car free’ strata blocks, and it’s a game changer for strata communities.

June, 2017
By Stephen Raff

Instead of providing adequate car park security, the future role of a strata community in major metropolitan areas might be to implement car pool schedules or distribute public transport timetables. The need for a car in Australia’s biggest cities, like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane is significantly declining and strata car parks could soon become a thing of the past.

Whilst it is unlikely Australians living in large cities will forego owning a car just yet, owners will look to trim costs where they can in the years to come, and for some, selling their car might be the preferred option. There’s every chance we will see strata title owners in Sydney and Melbourne and perhaps Brisbane consider the value of going without a car altogether.

Our cities are becoming more congested, and with some developers choosing to build limited or no car parking at all, this should have the attention of strata communities in major metropolitan areas. A report from the City of Sydney found that well over half of Sydney's population don't need a car to get to work, with almost 30 per cent using public transport and a quarter travelling on foot. And Melbourne development Nightingale for example was built without parking spaces for residents, but instead provides them with public transport passes.
Internationally, apartment buildings in Singapore are introducing car share and pooling schemes and there are a number of novel ideas out there that could be adapted for communities in Australia quite quickly. Australians won’t all go out and sell their cars overnight, but it makes sense for strata communities in major metropolitan areas to be prepared for the conversation to come up within their community.

Strata community living has changed dramatically over the past decade, but one thing almost always remains the same and that’s the pursuit of cost-savings for owners. Car sharing and public transport schemes would give owners without a car, a low-cost transport option and the argument will be there for strata communities to provide such a program if the demand is there.

Strata communities won’t be going it alone if it comes to car sharing in metropolitan areas, with a number of providers already servicing apartment complexes around the country. Car sharing is a growing industry with Australia’s first and largest service GoGet saying it has expanded nationally from a fleet of 750 vehicles in 2012 to 2100 last year, while the number of users leaped to 80,000 from 15,000 over the same period, driven in part by the interest of property developers.

GoGet, now provides share vehicles to eight Sydney apartment complexes, including Southbank, Belvedere in North Sydney, Ravina Apartments in Kensington, Trio Apartments in Camperdown, Divercity in Waterloo and Newtown’s Flourmill Studios. Whilst it’s comforting to know there are providers already out there, in situations like this, strata communities should consider discussing alternative transport options for their strata community at a committee level.

Ace Body Corporate Management
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.Ace Body Corporate Management offers this newsletter to clients to assist in updating them on company and industry news. The content within this newsletter is of a generic nature and may not be applicable to all owners corporations. Ace Body Corporate Management attempts to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information for our clients, however we strongly recommend that individuals and committees seek further advice before acting on any information in this newsletter.