Car2Go to pull out of Calgary and 4 U.S. cities before year-end

The vehicle-sharing service Car2Go says it’s pulling out of Calgary and four other North American cities before the end of the year.

The company announced Friday that its service would end in Calgary, Austin, Texas, Denver and Portland, Ore., on Oct. 31.

It’ll roll out of Chicago on Dec. 31.

“This decision was not made lightly. We have had to face the hard reality that despite our efforts, we underestimated the investment and resources that are truly necessary to make our service successful in these complex transportation markets amid a quickly-changing mobility landscape,” the company said in a statement posted Friday. 

It said that since it launched in North America in 2009, transportation has changed drastically, with options that range from “traditional automakers to ride-hail giants to micro-mobility disrupters.”

“Though it still remains prevalent, studies agree that the sustainability of private car ownership in cities is limited,” the company said in its statement.

“The industry has been disrupted and the bubble will eventually burst. Things are changing. And we firmly believe that free-floating carshare has played a role and still does.”

In Calgary, which has had Car2Go since 2012 and is the only Canadian city affected, the company informed its users Friday via a email.

“Despite our best efforts over the years encouraging the city to implement policy that better supported carshare, and amid an ongoing economic recession and an increasingly competitive marketplace, we are unable to continue operating in Calgary,” Car2Go said.

“…We deeply regret any inconvenience this decision may cause you.”

It said the last date users would be able to start a trip in Calgary would be Oct. 31, with all trips ending no later than 11:59 p.m. MT that day.

Focus shifts to Montreal, Vancouver, 3 U.S. cities

Car2Go users can still use their memberships in other North American locations listed on their website.

The company said it would refocus its efforts on “the cities that present the clearest path to free-floating carshare success” — Montreal, Vancouver, New York City, Washington D.C., and Seattle.

Car2Go stopped operations in Toronto in May 2018, blaming city hall and saying a free-floating car-sharing pilot program passed by council after months of debate was overly restrictive. Specifically, it called the parking permit fees of about $1,500 per vehicle “unprecedented.”

Calgary Coun. Evan Woolley tweeted Friday that he had already spoken with senior transportation staff and the city was working on “a solution to keep this important mobility option” in the city.

The news is getting mixed reviews from Calgarians on Twitter.

More to come.

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