In 1998, Kevin McLaughlin came to us with a novel idea: What did we think of an entrepreneurial group setting up a car-sharing business in Toronto? People in the city could access cars whenever they needed them without carrying the burden of car ownership, reducing their personal costs and carbon emissions. The strong pitch secured a $20,000 start-up loan from TAF, which played an important role in launching AutoShare in October 1998.
The loan is long since repaid and the rest is history. Today the AutoShare brand is ubiquitous (AutoShare become part of the Enterprise CarShare network in 2014) and new auto-sharing models and companies are joining in. More than 50,000 people in the GTA take advantage of car-sharing operations – essentially taking thousands of cars off the road. Even businesses and city governments have recognized the benefits, becoming corporate members. Several academic studies have shown significant reduced emissions and vehicle ownership through car sharing, making it a superb eco-service for the whole city.
Years later, it’s so great to see that car sharing really has become mainstream in Toronto. I know that AutoShare will continue to grow and innovate, providing an important transportation choice to our city. – Kevin McLaughlin, Founder, AutoShare