Car-sharing services in Calgary see surge in users due to return to work and soaring gas prices – Calgary

While many Calgarians lament the current price at the pump, Arthur Gallant isn’t too concerned.

“There’s just this overwhelming sense of relief that I don’t have to worry about the amount of gas because I know the price of gas is built into my dues,” Gallant told Global News.

Gallant is a user of Communauto, a Montreal-based car-sharing service that opened a store in Calgary in the fall of 2020.

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The app-based service has 160 vehicles operating in downtown Calgary neighborhoods.

According to its Calgary branch manager, Adrianna Rangeloff, the company has seen a steady increase in users as it tries to fill the void left by the departure of Car2Go in 2019.

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“We’re just another option next to bus, bike, scooter and walk,” Rangeloff said. “Sometimes you just need a car and that’s the void we’re here to fill.”

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As many Calgarians return to in-person work after the provincial work-from-home order was lifted last month and high fuel prices, Rangeloff said the situation has encouraged people to think differently about how they work. are moving.

“You can take it for five minutes, five hours or five days, it’s up to you,” Rangeloff said. “We include gas, parking and insurance.”

Others in Calgary subsidize their vehicles using Turo, a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform.

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According to the company, Turo has seen an 188% increase in users in Alberta since March 2021.

The company’s Canadian vice-president pointed to several factors behind the increase, including a shortage of rental cars.

“When you combine that with rising gas prices, that’s another incentive for people to list a car on the platform because it just makes owning a car more affordable,” he said. Cedric Matthew.

“It’s a way to save on the cost of car ownership in general.”

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Ward 9 County. Gian-Carlo Carra said the rise in car-sharing usage came as no surprise to him.

“We can’t underestimate the role that high gas prices are playing across North America, in terms of making alternative decisions about how we get around in our cities,” Carra said.

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“It means making big lifestyle decisions to live closer to work, but it also means maybe getting rid of the second car for the family and getting into a carpooling environment.”

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According to Carra, Calgary is “more than punching its weight” for the alternative transportation options available to the city.

In a statement to Global News, the City of Calgary said it had “created a set of clear and transparent policies for car-sharing companies that aim to make the marketplace easy to understand and fair for all competitors.”

The statement went on to say that the policies have created a “level playing field for all interested car-sharing companies”.

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Carra said the city council will continue to explore alternative options for getting around the city.

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“I think we’ll see more opportunities as new technologies come online,” he said. “As Calgarians, we’ll embrace them both because we seem to embrace those things…and also because, for the first time ever, I think we’re going to be much more in tune with the rest of North America. in terms of our consumption choices being dictated by high oil prices.

Calgary Transit also reported a slight increase in ridership.

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Transit officials said before COVID-19 health measures were lifted on March 1, ridership was about 40% of pre-pandemic levels.

“Throughout March, we have seen this number increase slightly each week and we are at approximately 50% of pre-pandemic levels,” Calgary Transit spokesman Stephen Tauro said in a statement. .

Calgary Transit said it expects that number to increase as more people return to in-person work.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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