New carshare parking rules are igniting hopes the mobility option will return to Calgary later this spring.
In October 2019, carshare provider car2go pulled out of Calgary and five other North American cities, citing a changing transportation landscape. This departure caused an uproar in the city, as tens of thousands were left to search for alternative transportation.
While providers told LiveWire Calgary shortly after the car2go announcement that the city was an attractive location to operate carshare, they said several barriers remained.
Montreal-based Communauto VP of Strategic Development, Marco Viviani, said in October last year that parking was a primary concern and that it would take further cooperation with the city.
“We think that a city has to recognize that carsharing is a part of the transportation policy they can put in place for a more sustainable mobility,” Viviani told LiveWire Calgary.
He said Calgary’s carshare cluster parking rules needed revision. Carshare operators are required to move cars when several are parked within the same ParkPlus zone. He also noted the two-hour parking zone restrictions that could be costly, as companies are required to pick up the tab for parking fines or towing.
New rules addressing some of the carshare barriers
On Jan. 29, Calgary’s Standing Policy Committee on Transportation and Transit will review proposed new parking rules for carshare operators, addressing many of the problems Viviani and others saw.
When contacted via email about the new rules Viviani said he’d seen the revised set that will come before committee next week. He also said they were consulted on rule changes.
We asked if the rules changes brought Communauto one step closer to launching in Calgary, and he responded, “yes.” We followed up and asked if they’d launch in the city.
“Will see after committee decision,” he wrote.
In the city administration’s document, it said they’ve been approached by several carshare operators (CSO).
“At least one CSO has indicated they could commence operations in Calgary as early as May 2020, pending the final decision of Council on the proposed amendments to the carshare parking policies,” the admin document read.
“It is anticipated that several months would be required for a CSO to assemble a fleet of vehicles and arrange the necessary contract with The City.”
According to the city, the Calgary Parking Authority said it would cost $313,000 to update enforcement systems for the new tiered pricing structure as a part of the new rules.
More than 140,000 members were registered with car2go in Calgary between 2013 and 2019, the city said.