Parking Dispute Threatens Car Sharing in Toronto

Lack of parking means no spots to leave cars.

by on Jun.08, 2018

Car2Go bade farewell to its 80,000 users in Toronto because of a problem with securing parking spaces.

Car2Go, Daimler AG’s car sharing program, is threatening to shut down its growing operations in Toronto in a dispute over parking spaces in residential areas.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company reported Car2Go has thousands of residents of Toronto, who rely on its vehicles, upset over news that it may shut down after the Toronto city council delayed a pilot project that would have allowed the company to buy parking permits in residential areas.

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The council voted 30-2 to send the proposed pilot back for more study. If approved, it would have allowed the sale of some 2,000 parking permits to car-sharing companies, allowing their users to park vehicles in various downtown neighborhoods while exempting them from three-hour limits, according to the CBC. 

Car sharing is touted in cities around the world as an answer to reducing congestion in major urban areas.

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Car2Go’s North America CEO Paul DeLong the company users in Toronto that companies taking part in Toronto’s new pilot program would be charged $1,499.02 per vehicle and that many streets which operate a residents’ parking permit system will not be available for car share anymore.

The floating-vehicle model used by Car2Go requires parking sites scattered around a metro area so users can move around the city as required.

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This means “almost 10,000 parking spaces where Torontonians regularly start and end Car2Go trips today will be forbidden once the pilot begins,” said in a letter to Car2Go users.

Car2Go claims to have 80,000 users in Toronto. It began operating in the city in 2012, when users were required to park and pick up cars in designated spaces. That migrated to a system where cars could be accessed from any legal parking space on Toronto’s streets – a freedom that the new system will restrict dramatically.

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“Other cities – including Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary – established free-float car share policies years ago and have fully embraced free-float carshare because of the numerous economic and quality of life benefits it delivers. In fact, Montreal just expanded free-float car share access to more boroughs of the city. Unfortunately, Toronto has chosen a different path,” DeLong said.

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