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Toronto takes on free-float car sharing pilot

By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario — October 10, 2018 — In what is being called a ‘free-floating’ car-share pilot, Torontonians will be able to pick up and drop off vehicles in residential areas as soon as November.

Based out of Montreal, Communauto is the longest-running Canadian car-sharing company, and the first to receive a permit within the city of Toronto.

Toronto city council approved the 18-month trial phase in April, which will allow 2,000 permits and 500 vehicles per car-booking company.

“Car-sharing technologies have the power to change how people go about their day-to-day lives and get around this city. I’ve encouraged the introduction of these new technologies, and believe that there can be many benefits, including potentially reducing traffic and congestion by removing cars from the road,” said Mayor John Tory.

Toronto will not be the first city to see Communauto vehicles on the roads. The company already runs in Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa and Hamilton. 

As for insurance on these vehicles, drivers do not require their own personal insurance. Drivers are automatically covered by Communauto’s insurance – something that could have a tremendous impact on the collision repair community, should Communauto or similar car-sharing operators ever achieve widespread market influence. Like fleet insurance, such a system would likely be more beneficial for banner repairers. Seeing as franchised facilities are able to benefit more from a network’s increased bargaining power, these types of shops would likely have a leg up on gaining access to business from companies such as Communauto.

Communauto FLEX uses a pay-as-you-go structure, has no monthly fees and is free to join. Daily trips begin at $0.41 per minute, $15 per hour, $50 per day and $35 for any additional days following. The first 150 km is included in the price of each trip, and as a launch bonus, users will receive the first 30 minutes of each trip free for one month. Torontonians can pick up Communauto FLEX cars, and drop them off at legal on-street parking spaces within the service area.

Communauto FLEX will launch in Toronto with 200 Hyundai Accent hatchbacks and will service an area that covers close to 50 square kilometers in the downtown core. The free-floating parking zones will span 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.

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