Culture Winnipeg

Car Co-op Experiment

Well, not yet. Not literally.

Winnipeg’s Peg-City Car Co-op has been on my mind recently for one reason or another. I’ve come to the conclusion that if they opened a station on my street I would probably immediately get rid of my car!

When I say “my street” I literally mean my street. There are 3 rarely used parking lots on my block (within 3 minute walk) and my street would be good location if they decided to expand their network westward (Philip Mikulec, if you’re reading this DM me).

I ran this idea passed my wife and she rightly brought up concerns about availability and cargo space. So, I thought I should step back and do something like a feasibility study.

So for the next month, I plan on logging all of my car trips in a spreadsheet.

I am going to be logging two categories of metric.

First, I’m going to log cost of using a co-op car. Cost is defined by the duration and distance of the trip. I’ll flag trips where I might be able to use their new floater service as those trips should be less expensive.

Second, I’m going to log “feasibility.” One of the biggest reasons for owing a car for me personally is being able to have a vehicle available at my beck-and-call. With two growing kids and a wife with mobility issues, it seems valuable to be able to hop into a car at any time.

To log feasibility I am going to use the following three attributes:

  • Timely: Appointments, meetings, picking people up at a specif time, that sort of thing. Since car co-ops have limited stock, I’m assuming it may be difficult to always get a car at a specific time.
  • Spontaneous: Basically, any trip that was taken without prior planning. This could be an emergency or a random drive in the evening.
  • Large: Again due to limited stock I assume we would not always be able to get a larger vehicle if needed. For this metric, I will use any load that takes up the entire floor space of our Santa Fe to signify a “large” load.

Without actually using the service it’s going to be impossible to know if a car would have been available to me during these trips. So for the sake of quantification, if any two out of these three factors are present for a given trip, I deem that trip infeasible with a car co-op.


My total cost will come in under the $833/mo the average Canadian spends on car ownership. I think I am an ideal candidate for a car co-op: we are a one driver household (for now), I work from home full time, our kids are teenager (and already accustom to taking public transit) and our neighbourhood is extremely walkable.

Other factors

I understand that people who use car co-ops typically change the way they use cars. They group trips and drive less frequently. In addition to the raw calculations, I will attempt to analyze the data and come up with alternate stories for how I could have used cars over the month. There might be some interesting findings.

My data set will act as a sort of “worst case scenario.” Meaning, if I didn’t change my behaviour this is how much it would cost. As such, my data should also be able to quantify the real cost of having a car available outside your door 24/7.

I hope to have some interesting findings. See you in a month!