Communauto to Introduce One-Way Carsharing in Quebec

It will become possible to access a communauto without having to make a reservation or bring it back to its original parking space

MONTREAL, April 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Communauto, the oldest carsharing service in North America, plans to improve its current service by providing the population of Quebec with a fleet of vehicles for spontaneous use. Clients will not be required to reserve, specify drop-off times or bring vehicles back to their original parking spaces. 

The one-way carsharing service, which differs from Communauto's more classic service, is developing at an exponential rate around the world.

"We know that there is a considerable demand for this type of service which has raised a lot of enthusiasm from the population. As in Paris, Austin, Hanover, Ulm and closer to us, Vancouver, we are convinced that cities like Montreal or Quebec will start searching, sooner rather than later, for similar solutions. True to its reputation, Communauto intends to be proactive rather than reactive to satisfy the expectations in this field in advance", declared Mr. Benoît Robert, Communauto's Chief Executive Officer. 

In the past, Communauto had reservations about these kinds of projects in other cities. "We are still convinced that cities relying solely on this kind of service (sometimes very expensive) to make vehicles available "on demand" are not headed in the right direction. A one-way carsharing service alone is not an attractive alternative to car ownership. It cannot, therefore, ensure that people will use public transport or any other competing modes of transportation, such as taxis, bikes and walking rather than privately owned cars. However, because the main cities in Quebec already have a classic carsharing service, one that is among the most developed in the world, we believe that these conditions will ensure that these two kinds of services work well together, their complementarity now recognized. In compliance with our mission, we wish to monitor this process and ensure that the introduction of this service will be done with a view to promote sustainable mobility and in collaboration with our partners, the cities, the public transportation companies and all the other stakeholders in the transportation industry", stated Mr. Robert

Support from cities is also vital to allow a service like this to materialize on its territory (without mentioning the challenge of winter). A one-way Carsharing service presupposes that vehicles used by tens of thousands of citizens may be parked in a multitude of parking spaces that will need to be made accessible. An arbitrage to find the optimal equilibrium between the different users of the urban roads will be needed. The newly accessible spaces for the self-service cars will need to be allocated in an optimal fashion to answer the needs of Communauto's classic service and the upcoming one-way service. 

"This exercise constitutes a complete paradigm shift regarding the vision of privatized access to automobile mobility", added Mr. Robert

Upcoming Action Plan 

In the next couple of weeks, Communauto will propose a roadmap to Quebecois municipalities and to its transportation industry partners to identify the steps that will allow this project to bloom. This service should, ideally, be able to finance itself. "We would rather the state invests taxpayers money in the development of public transport than diverting its resources into the subsidization of the automobile", asserted Mr. Robert

A pre-selection of the potential vehicles that could be assigned to this type of project is already underway. They will be extremely compact, easy to park and adapted for very short use. Communauto also wishes to integrate electric technology into this project as soon as an adapted zero-emission vehicle will become accessible. An important step in this direction will be made this summer, in Quebec and Montreal, as Communauto will become the first carsharing organization in Canada to have a fleet of completely electric vehicles available to clients. The purpose of these vehicles is to be available for self-service. This initiative will make Quebec the host of one of the most important projects in the world for pubic access to the electric car. 

About Communauto

Communauto, the oldest carsharing service in North America, is a company with an urban, social and environmental mission that serves more than 23,000 users thanks to a fleet of more than 1,200 self-service cars, available 24/7, in combination with public transit and active transportation modes. Communauto vehicles are found in more than 360 stations, located in Montréal, Québec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke. For more information about Communauto and its network of parking stations, visit: www.communauto.com.

SOURCE COMMUNAUTO

For further information:

Communauto inc.
Marco Viviani
Director of Development and Public Relations
Tel: 514 499-8099 extension 2119
mviviani@communauto.ca
www.communauto.com


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