Kootenay Carshare Co-op: New name and home for carshare co-op

| Community |

The Nelson Carshare Co-op is no more. Now it’s the Kootenay Carshare Co-op, after members voted overwhelmingly last week to change the name.

“Our operations have changed to serve not just Nelson,” says manager Colleen Matte, “and we wanted a name that expressed we’re in five communities in the Kootenays.” (The others are Kaslo, Fernie, Kimberley, and Revelstoke.)

To go with the new name, the co-op has a new home: as of this week, their office is 410B Hall St., behind the New Grand Hotel, in the former ECO Store (see related story).

“Our organizations have a relationship because the store uses a carshare vehicle for some of their programs,” Matte says. “We heard [the storefront] was coming available and snagged it. It’s a great space with affordable rent.”

Until now, Matte has worked from home and used the Building Tree for meeting space, but “it’s time to make the move. It’s nice to have a space where volunteers can come in and bring their skills to the co-op.”

They have about 180 members, 100 of whom live around Nelson, and a fleet of 20 vehicles. Members can book a car on-line with as little as 15 minutes notice, and use it for as long as they want. They pay per-kilometer and hourly rates, but nothing for fuel or maintenance.

Once the paperwork for the name change is filed, Matte says they will also introduce a new logo.

“We’re going to complete our business plan in September, giving us a road map of how to roll out the rebranding,” she says. “We really want to bring a new profile to our company car program and reach out to more businesses.”

For now, Matte says they have a big wishlist for their new office: chairs, tables, desks, filing cabinets, artwork, fans, lamps, “and anything else to make our new place a home.”

The office will be open Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.