Communauto launches new carsharing service in Calgary
The City of Calgary and Communauto, the oldest and largest Canadian carsharing organization announced the launch of a new carsharing service: Communauto FLEX.
“I know Calgarians have been looking forward to the return of a car share service,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Communauto FLEX will provide an affordable and convenient option, strengthening Calgary’s transportation network so individuals and families can get where they need to go.”
Starting today, an initial fleet of 150 cars will be deployed in an area covering 26 square kilometres from 50 Avenue S.W. to 21 Avenue N.W., and from 37 Street S.W. to 17 Street S.E. The launch of the service was made possible by City Council’s approval of the revised Carshare Parking Policies and Traffic Bylaw earlier this year. “A new three-tiered pricing structure was implemented for operators who want to offer one-way carshare trips. This offers predictability and flexibility for carshare companies due to their unique operating model,” says Eric MacNaughton, Senior Transportation Engineer.
Tiered pricing for on-street parking
- Tier 1: The $450 fee per year, per car, for Tier 1 is unchanged from The City’s current policy and allows carshare operators to park vehicles in unpaid and residential permit spaces. Tier 1 does not include the downtown core.
- Tier 2: costs $840 per year, per car, includes parking in residential, unmetered and metered zones outside of the downtown core.
- Tier 3: $1440 per year, per car. Allows operators to use on-street parking in all priced areas, in residential areas and in Calgary’s downtown core.
The City will also apply a 50 per cent discount to the annual fees for fully-electric carshare vehicles, consistent with the actions in Calgary’s Climate Resilience Strategy and Electric & Low-Emission Vehicle Strategy. The policy change also allows carshare vehicles to park beyond posted time limits (for locations with a limit of 1 hour or longer).
Councillor Evan Woolley stated, “As a frequent user of car-share services, I am glad that City Council approved the policy updates and am happy to see Communauto help fill the void that exists in Calgary right now. I am hopeful these policy changes will attract more companies to the city.”
The service has no monthly fee and its usage costs $0.45/minute, $15/hour or $50 for one day and $35 the following days. For day trips, 100 kms are included in the trip price, and additional kms are billed at $0.20/km. Other plans are offered allowing people to use cars for $2.95/hour, plus $0.29/km, with fuel and insurance included.
“Communauto aims to offer a real alternative to car ownership in complement to transit and active mobility. That is why we propose a tariffication adapted as well to small errands, going for grocery as for weekends or vacations. In Calgary we wish to grow a local mobility service, as we did since more than 25 years in many other communities in Canada. Today we start with a limited fleet in a certain area ready to expand the service following the demand of Calgarians,” says Benoit Robert, CEO and founder of Communauto.
In the next few weeks, interested people can pre-register or become beta-testers with the exclusive use of a car for free, until the complete fleet is available. The service will start regularly during the month of September. To register people can visit calgary.communauto.com.
This announcement is seen as a positive by other city partners. "Calgary Economic Development is excited to be working with Communauto launching in our city. Shared transportation services like Communauto are an important part of what makes Calgary a great place to live and grow a business. This carshare service will allow Calgarians to explore a new flexible and affordable mobility option to meet their needs and plans for corporate and personal travel," said Mary Moran, President and Chief Executive Officer for Calgary Economic Development.
Once launched, Communauto will have increased sanitization measures in place. This includes the availability of sanitizing gel in the cars, the obligation to wash hands before and after using a car and disinfecting the cars on a weekly basis. Additional time up 15 minutes will be offered for free before each use to allow time to disinfect the interior of the car if desired.
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Founded in Québec City in 1994, Communauto is the largest carsharing service in Canada and the oldest in North America. Present on two continents in 14 cities in addition to Calgary (Edmonton, Toronto, Kitchener/Waterloo, Hamilton, Guelph, London, Kingston, Ottawa, Gatineau, the regions of Montreal and Québec, Sherbrooke, Halifax and Paris in France). With a fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles, it is one of the few operators in the world offering both free-floating and station-based carsharing. Communauto is a private company whose main mission is to reduce the impact of cars on cities while improving access to mobility. Communauto establishes strong partnerships with public transit authorities and offers the largest electric car-share fleet in Canada, in selected cities.
Marco Viviani, VP