No need for changes to Calgary’s car-sharing parking policy: city

car2go says it will leave Toronto at the end of May.
car2go says it will leave Toronto at the end of May. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

City administration says Calgary’s parking policy, for car-sharing companies like Car2Go, is working.

In 2015, city council established a policy to make sure companies moved their vehicles to avoid the issue of clustering, and to ensure cars wouldn’t park in specific areas beyond posted time limits.  It was not uncommon in the past to see dozens of the vehicles lining downtown blocks, taking up parking spots outside city office buildings.

A report that went to city hall’s Transportation Committee Thursday said clustering doesn’t appear to be an issue, and that the problem could be one of perception.

WATCH BELOW: Car2Go parking spaces

READ MORE: What you need to know about Calgary’s Car2Go parking changes

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There are 120,000 Calgarians registered with Car2Go, which is currently the only car-share program in the city.

Since Car2Go vehicles look the same, it can appear as if the vehicles have occupied the same parking space for longer than permitted when, in fact, another similar car has been parked in the same spot.

“They all look the same, so when one moves and another takes its place, that’s a different car,” said Counc. Evan Woolley.

“Clustering is not a problem; we have a policy, we’re collecting a ton of data. We’re refining that work” he said.  “It is not a problem.”

Car sharing companies also have to pay for parking, like all other vehicles, and data suggests the average monthly ticket payment has dropped by 30 per cent in the past couple of years 
further evidence the parking policy is being followed.

The report also said the city has received less than 100 inquiries about car-sharing vehicles in the past two years and that the Calgary Parking Authority receives less than five inquiries per month, something Woolley said is borne out in the calls – or lack of calls he is receiving.

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“I represent half the downtown and I am getting no complaints from businesses of clustering of Car2Go vehicles out front.”

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However, a representative for the Britannia Shopping Centre said there is a concern about the length of time vehicles stay parked around the centre.

“It is the congestion of parking that is hurting the other customers and the merchants” said David Jacobs. He said he agrees with the policy in place regarding parking, but would like to ensure there is enforcement.

In 2016, the University of California at Berkeley published a study on car-sharing in North America which suggested that, in Calgary, 11 private vehicles were taken off the road for each Car2Go vehicle and that 14 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated.