Tuesday, October 16, 2012

car2go parking – do’s and don’ts

This summer, Calgary was taken by storm by a fleet of small, blue and white Smart cars brought to us by a company called car2go.  More than 15000 Calgarians have already embraced car2go in the short time it has been available, and its member base is expected to continue growing in the coming months and years ahead.

What is car2go?
car2go is a private company that provides a low cost and convenient car sharing program. The company originated in Germany in 2008, and has since expanded to 15 cities around the world. Calgary’s car2go program uses a network of 150 Smart cars that members can pick up or drop off in the “home area” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The “home area” extends to 24 Avenue in the north, Deerfoot Trail and Blackfoot Trail in the east, Glenmore Trail in the south, Sarcee Trail in the southwest, and Shaganappi Trail in the northwest.

car2go parking
The City of Calgary and the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) are working alongside car2go to make this program a convenient mobility option for Calgarians. One of the benefits of car2go is the fact that the cost of parking in ParkPlus and residential parking zones is included in the rental fee. The CPA recoups the cost of parking directly from car2go, so members don’t have to worry about plugging the meter when they park. This provides an added level of freedom for members, but also comes with added responsibility.

Some concerns have been raised by communities regarding an excess of car2go parking in certain areas. As with all new initiatives, there will be an adjustment period as Calgarians learn to use this new service, and as The City and car2go look at ways fine-tune the program so it fits into Calgary’s parking framework.
We want to ensure the car2go system works well for all Calgarians, so here are some tips to keep in mind next time you park a car2go.

car2go parking tips:
  • Watch out for time-restricted parking. Don’t park in areas with parking restrictions at specific hours of the day. These areas are usually in the downtown core and the Beltline, and have signs that say “No parking” or “No stopping” between specific hours (ex: Monday – Friday, 15:30 – 18:00). These lanes are intended to accommodate traffic during rush hour. If you leave a car2go in a time-restricted area, you will be responsible for paying the parking fine and towing fee.  Members are encouraged to park in designated car2go spots in Calgary Parking Authority parkades or surface lots
  • Find car2go reserved parking spots in surface lots and parkades. car2go has designated parking available in a number of Calgary Parking Authority parkades, as well as at the U of C and MRU. Check the GPS next time you’re in a car2go to find out where these spots are located. If the designated car2go spots are filled, members can park in non-reserved stalls at these select lots.
  • Be a good neighbour. Many communities in the “home area” have residential parking restrictions, meaning that on-street parking is intended for residents and visitors with permits. These restrictions are usually found in areas with nearby educational institutions, CTrain stations and shopping centres. car2go vehicles can park in any residential parking  zone, however we ask that members are respectful of the residents. If you notice car2go vehicles already parked on the street, simply park the car a block or two away or around the corner, so there’s room for other vehicles to park on the street too.
Check out the website to learn more about car-sharing options in Calgary. For general parking information and inquiries, visit the Calgary Parking Authority.

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