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Car-sharing service car2go to leave Toronto due to city’s new car-sharing pilot

WATCH ABOVE: Ride-sharing service Car2Go has announced it is leaving Toronto at the end of May, saying over-regulation makes it impossible to operate in the city. Sean O’Shea reports.

Popular car-sharing service car2go says it will stop operating in Toronto at the end of May due to a new car-sharing pilot introduced by the city.

In a release sent out this morning, car2go says the City of Toronto has introduced a “heavily amended free-floating car-share pilot project” that renders their services inoperable.

LISTEN: Car2go will suspend operations in Toronto

“Despite our best efforts over a nearly six-year collaboration with the City of Toronto to establish an effective regulatory framework for free-float car-share, city Councillors have passed a heavily restricted pilot that ultimately weakens mobility options for Torontonians,” said Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go for North America.

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The company said the City of Toronto approved amendments to its proposed free-floating car-share pilot in April that restrict residential parking permits and increase the per-car car-share residential parking permit fee.

In a statement sent out Thursday morning, Mayor John Tory said he believes there can be many benefits to car-sharing programs, but that restrictions should still exist.

READ MORE: Popular car-sharing service threatens to leave Toronto over delay of pilot project

“Car sharing must be implemented with careful regard for the potential impacts it can have. In this case, those impacts are most acutely felt in neighbourhoods where on-street, paid permit parking is already heavily subscribed – in neighbourhoods where home owners and tenants already have difficulty finding a place to park their own car,” the statement read.

The statement said the regulations restrict the pilot to areas where permit parking is less than 95 per cent subscribed. It said this is meant to strike a balance between car sharing benefits and neighbourhood impact.

The ride-sharing service said the city has passed the highest per-car car-share residential parking permit fee of any car2go city. It said that if it participated in the pilot, it would be required to pay $1,499.02 per vehicle.

READ MORE: LISTEN: The role of car-sharing in the future of transportation

“While dozens of other cities in Canada and around the world have found a way to make free-float car-sharing work, council’s decision is going to have a very real, negative impact on the lives of thousands of its citizens who rely on our service. The pilot passed by City Council is so restrictive, costly and unwieldy it seems purpose-built to make free-float car-share for Torontonians impossible,” DeLong said.

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The company said all services will be suspended by May 31.

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