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article imageCommunauto begins free-floating car-sharing service in Toronto

By Karen Graham     Nov 28, 2018 in Business
Toronto - Communauto, Canada's oldest car-sharing company, has launched Communauto FLEX as part of an 18-month pilot program in Toronto that will assess the benefits of free-floating car-sharing.
On November October 29, Communauto president M. Benoit Robert received the City's first permit under the new free-floating car-share pilot program from the Mayor of Toronto and Barbara Gray, the City of Toronto's General Manager of Transportation, basically bringing car-sharing back to Toronto.
"As a proud supporter and car-share member myself, I'm thrilled to welcome Communauto FLEX to Toronto. We know there are over 200,000 residents who use car-sharing services in Toronto, and that car-sharing has many benefits for the city and residents," said Mike Layton, City Councillor, Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina.
"Research has shown that car-share services can reduce car ownership, which potentially leads to reduced parking pressure on neighborhood streets. I'm looking forward to seeing the positive impact Communauto FLEX will have under the city's new pilot project."
Communauto FLEX Zone
Communauto FLEX Zone
Communauto FLEX
The car-sharing service, which started on Saturday, November 24, is operating in the downtown core with 200 Hyundai Accent hatchbacks servicing 50 square kilometers (19.3 square miles). At the end of the first phase of the project, Communauto FLEX will expand the number available cars to 500 Hyundai Accents and the service area to 100 square kilometers (39 square miles).
The free-floating parking zone will span to High Park and Runnymede in the west, Dupont and Danforth in the north, and Victoria Park in the east. Metered parking spaces and Green P lots will be excluded from the service area at launch. If the pilot project is approved after the first 18 months of operations, the service area will grow to cover 100 square kilometers, serving residents up to Eglinton Ave.
How does the plan work?
Communauto FLEX offers Toronto citizens 24/7 access to one-way car-sharing as a simple way to improve their mobility inside and outside the city. Registered members get a free phone app they can use to locate and reserve cars. Doors can be unlocked using the smartphone app or membership card.
Membership is free, and Communauto Flex offers flexible rates for those people wanting to keep their car for a day or two. Members are charged 41 cents a minute or $15 a day, with the first 30 minutes being free for one month. This allows them time to get to the car they have reserved.
Digital Journal called Communauto and found out that fuel costs are already included in the rate being charged. This is nice for those people going out of town on a weekend trip. They can find a FLEX credit card for refilling the gas tank in the glove compartment.
Keeping the car for overnight will cost $50 a day with additional days costing $35 per day. About that 30 free minutes - It shouldn't take that long to find an available car-sharing vehicle because cars can be parked anywhere within the permitted area, excluding no-park zones. Up to 500 overnight on-street permits have been issued to the car-share company for customers to park on permitted streets.
"Over 1,000 Torontonians pre-registered for Communauto FLEX in the few days after announcing our intention to launch in Toronto, which is a signal to us that city residents are looking for a new transportation solution," said Benoit Robert, Communauto president.
About Communauto
Communauto was founded in 1994, with an environmental, social and urbanistic mission that has grown into a fleet of over 2000 vehicles in 8 cities: Kingston, Ottawa, Gatineau, Montréal (Laval and Longueuil), Québec, Sherbrooke, Halifax and Paris (France). With this latest start, we can now add Toronto to the list.
In Montréal, Communauto offers to its users a station-bound service with reservation of over 1000 vehicles and a free-floating service, Auto-mobile, that counts 600 vehicles.
Communauto is also the largest operator of shared electric vehicles in Canada. Communauto already has Canada’s largest carsharing fleet of electric vehicles (120 EV). Most of them are part of its free-floating service. Over the years, it also has developed several partnerships with public transportation operators, urban and long distance, taxi companies and bike sharing.
More about communauto flex, Toronto, freefloating carsharing, 18month trial, oldest carshare company
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