Communauto is launching “zone stations” this summer
A Communauto FLEX car.
As the summer season begins, a period when the demand for car-sharing cars is stronger, Communauto and the City of Montreal will set up 90 temporary “station-zones”, a hybrid between traditional stations and parking zones. FLEX self-service.
Vehicles in zone stations will not have reserved parking spaces like traditional stations, but rather must be parked inside an area of approximately 500 square meters, the vice president of strategic development explains over the phone. at Communauto, Marco Viviani. However, vehicles can be reserved one month in advance as if they were in the station.
A total of 364 cars will be available in these new stations. They will be distributed in the 10 most central boroughs of the City, from Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, in the west, to Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, in the east.
These zone stations are the subject of a pilot project. Communauto wants to keep them in service as late as possible in the year, at least until the fall, says the president and founder of the company, Benoît Robert.
“By improving the car-sharing service, we continue to encourage more Montrealers to choose this alternative to solo driving, which is perfectly in line with our desire to diversify mobility options, decongest the city and decarbonize transportation,” said the head of transportation and mobility at the City of Montreal, Sophie Mauzerolle, in a press release.
New traditional stations too
< p>In addition, 100 new traditional stations will be installed in 17 boroughs (L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève and Pierrefonds-Roxboro will still not be served). Stations will open in particular in the Bois-Franc district, in Saint-Laurent, and in Rivière-des-Prairies, in order to meet long-standing demand, underlines Mr. Viviani.
The company thus hopes not to relive the same difficulties as last year, when the lack of availability of vehicles in the resort for the summer holidays and during the holiday season had aroused the discontent of several users.
FLEX arrives in Lachine
Another novelty, a FLEX zone will be set up in downtown Lachine. This is a first for the borough, which was not served by self-service vehicles.
The FLEX zone will also be extended to Montreal North, to Cégep Marie- Victorin.
885 new vehicles in 2023
During the summer, 710 vehicles will be added to Communauto's Montreal fleet, 660 in stations and 50 in self-service. The company plans to add 175 additional vehicles, for a total of 885 in 2023.
The company will therefore receive 77% of the 1,150 cars it would have needed to meet the growth in ridership – which increased by 31% in 2022. Last year, the company received 550 of the 800 vehicles ordered .
Graph detailing the addition of Communauto vehicles in 2023. Source: Communauto
“There are no more. We can’t find more,” laments Marco Viviani. A shortage has persisted for the past three years, and it pays much less for automakers to sell to commercial fleets, he explains. Also, commercial fleets – but not Communauto – often quickly resell their vehicles on the user market, which has negative consequences for dealers who sell new vehicles, continues the vice-president.
Communauto is also diversifying its fleet of vehicles by now offering minivans. Twenty seven-seater Kia Sorrentos and 46 eight-seater Kia Carnivals will be available to users.
The company will receive 80 of the 100 electric vehicles it has ordered. “We always order a lot, and we always receive little,” notes Mr. Viviani, stressing that electric cars are particularly affected by the shortage.
Moreover, Communauto has asked the Quebec Ministry of the Environment to modify the credits and royalties system offered to car manufacturers provided for in the Act to increase the number of zero-emission motor vehicles to promote the sale of electric vehicles to car-sharing services.
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12% of Montreal households subscribe to Communauto.
83% of Communauto users have no car in their household.
37% of users sold a car when they joined.
41% of users gave up buying a car when they joined.
2.3 M trips were made with Communauto in 2022, an increase of 24% compared to 2021.