Reducing our reliance on cars
More and more people are moving away from owning cars. This means that we need to have a variety of reliable public and shared transport options that suit different people's needs. Making sure it is easy to get around Merri-bek means that we will reduce the number of cars on the road and make our community more sustainable. We want to create a community where driving a car is the last resort, instead of the default travel option.
Why should I reduce my car use?
Going car-free or 'car-lite' means that you either do not have a car at all, or that you only use your car sometimes. This is a great idea because:
- owning a car is expensive. The RACV estimates that Victorians spend between $115 - $510 per week on their cars
- it allows Council to take the money we would usually spend on providing space for cars and instead spend it on providing better places for people
- it is better for the environment.
The Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy (PDF 25Mb) outlines how we will work with the community to make it easier to get around without a car.
Can I still use a car occasionally?
There may be times when travelling a car is the only sensible option. For example, you may be picking up or dropping off something heavy, or you may be going somewhere that doesn't have much public transport. If you are reducing your car use and only travelling in a car occasionally, then you are still reducing the number of cars on the road.
However, you should always ask yourself if there is an better way to travel than by car. For example, walking is great for short trips where you are not carrying much. For longer trips, bicycles and public transport are great options.
Car access is more sustainable than car ownership
Car sharing, ride hailing, taxis and car pooling can provide you with the chance to use a car for those occasional trips without having to own one. This means you don't have to spend money on maintaining a car, and you don't have to find space to park it at your house.
Where are Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations located in Merri-bek?
- Merri-bek Civic Centre at 90 Bell Street, Coburg
- Boundary Road Cul-De-Sac at the corner of Boundary Road and Sydney Road North Coburg.
- CB Smith Reserve, Jukes Road, Fawkner
- Brunswick Mechanics Institute at the David Street car park near the corner of Glenlyon and Sydney Roads, Brunswick
- Brunswick EV Hub, 13-15 Edward Street, Brunswick
- Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Centre, 563a Pascoe Vale Road, Pascoe Vale
In Merri-bek, there are 16 publicly available EV charging stations. These are powered by 100% zero-emissions renewable energy from the Crowlands Wind Farm.
If you have an EV, you can use these charging stations for free.
Our Electric Vehicle fleet
Merri-bek City Council has the largest local government EV fleet in Victoria.
In 2011, we took part in the Victorian Government’s Electric Vehicle (EV) Trial. We got our first electric vehicle in 2013, and in 2018, we adopted a zero emissions corporate vehicle procurement policy.
The following plans and objectives relate to our electric vehicles:
- Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan (DOC 2Mb)
- Zero Carbon Merri-bek Climate Emergency Action Plan (PDF 2Mb)
- Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy (PDF 25Mb)
Our Council vehicle fleet contains 29 electric vehicles, powered by 10 private charging stations to refuel them. We are a leader in encouraging and promoting the transition to electric vehicles and zero emissions transport.
A car share service lets you book a vehicle and drive it for an agreed upon length of time. You pay for the car by the hour, and petrol and insurance costs are covered in your booking. Each car share service is slightly different, but most allow you to book online or through an app.
Benefits of car sharing
Research has found that each car share vehicle replaces up to 10 privately owned cars. Members of car share schemes also reduce car use by around 50%. Car sharing helps to reduce traffic congestion, parking demand, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Car share providers operating in Merri-bek
There are over 100 car share bays in Merri-bek. There are car share bays across Merri-bek from North Fitzroy all the way to Jacana Station in Glenroy.
Find out about other sustainable transport actions that you can take as a worker or resident in Merri-bek.
Merri-bek City Council surveys selected local roads to see how cars and trucks use them. View the data.