When it comes to Car2Go, some area residents are saying they have got to go.
Though the bright blue car sharing fleet vehicles are small, they’ve become a big inconvenience for residents trying to park, claims Bracken Avenue resident Evelyn Redhead.
“I understand the concept must be wonderful for the members … pick up a car and just drop it off anywhere there is a legal parking spot. The trouble is after three hours without a permit, the car is parked illegally,” she pointed out in an email to Beach Metro. “Most times the cars are ticketed three times then moved.”
Car2Go offers an “on demand” vehicle sharing system that allows members to pick up a car2Go vehicle at locations around the city and drop it off in any legal parking spot available. Cars typically remain until another member picks it up and drives it to another location in the city. There are no penalties if the car is later ticketed by parking authorities – tickets are paid for by car2Go.
“We will take responsibility to relocate the cars and assume any tickets, as long as our members avoid parking at unauthorized areas such as meters and on rush hour streets. And we remind our members that trips can only be ended/completed within the designated car2go Home Area,” said car2Go general manager Mark Latchford.
The ‘Home Area’ currently extends west to Jane Street, east to Victoria Park Avenue and as far north as St. Clair Avenue.
The company has been trying for years to get the city of Toronto to agree to provide access to residential parking but despite their request being denied in March 2016, car2Go moved forward with allowing users to park on residential streets.
Prior to this, users had to pick up and park in designated spots around the city, most of which were Green P parking lots.
“We are not above the law, so we encourage our members to get familiar with Toronto parking rules,” Latchford noted.
The company currently operates in more than 26 locations across North America, Europe and Asia and has more than two million registered members.
But while the premise behind the company works for those who take part in it, residents like Redhead have been left wondering how a system that leaves vehicles parked on the street for hours without permits, taking up valuable street parking, hasn’t caused more of an uproar from the city.
A CBC article last year noted this was a problem throughout the city with residents from east to west voicing concerns about car2Go vehicles taking coveted street parking spots.
And while Latchford said they do not currently have an agreement with the city in place, he said they are working towards a solution – that solution however, may not be seen as beneficial to current permit parking holders.
“Car2go is currently meeting with city officials to discuss the future of carsharing in Toronto and work towards a pilot agreement that will allow car2go members to park in residential permit areas just like their neighbours do.”
But despite some resistance, the sharing economy doesn’t appear to be going anywhere – especially when it comes to car sharing.
“Since launching in 2012, car2go has experienced steady growth in its membership [and] with the introduction of on-street parking in early 2016, usage has surged,” said Latchford. “The continued growth of carsharing in a city like Toronto has been shown to benefit urban communities by alleviating traffic congestion and providing people who are unwilling or unable to afford a vehicle with the access to a car when they need it. Toronto needs more transportation options and car2go is one of them.”
What do you think of car sharing services? Let us know in the comments.