Ottawa-based Vrtucar to take over Community CarShare

Community CarShare has taken steps to ensure their survival in Kitchener Waterloo by looking at selling to Ottawa-based car share company, Vrtucar.

Members of Community CarShare voted to sell the non-profit as a solution to the company's financial position

Vrtucar, a Ottawa-based company, will be purchasing the Community CarShare, a non-profit operating in Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo. (Facebook: Vrtucar )

Community CarShare (CCS) has taken steps to ensure their survival in Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton by looking at selling to Ottawa-based car share company, Vrtucar.

The decision to sell came after CCS received a letter from Vrtucar, whose parent company is Communauto Inc. in Montreal, that expressed interest in purchasing the company. 

Members of CCS voted to sell the 20-year-old non-profit car sharing company on Nov. 22 as a solution to CCS's financial position, where it would have be a challenge for them to pay back loans when due.

"We never grew to the right size or quickly enough to pay back some of our start up capital that was owed to some of our local lenders," Matthew Piggot, business development and member services manager at CCS, told CBC News. 

"That put us in a position over many years where, in combination with changes in the industry, it was time to consider many options and this was the one that was most viable."

For CCS to continue existing as a co-operative non-profit, they would need short-term fundraising to address urgent cash flow issues, find a sustainable way of getting financial support and make significant changes to their current operations. 

Car sharing to continue

Once transition of ownership begins in late February, Vrtucar will take over CCS's assets and financial debts.

The community can still expect to see CCS vehicles on the road as Vrtucar plans on continuing local car share.

"We want to make sure car sharing is continued to be provided in the region," Sondra LaBelle with Communauto and Vrtucar told council in a regional meeting Tuesday.

"We are available to allow this to not affect the members as much as possible." 

Piggot said once Vrtucar takes over, everything will be business as usual for members. 

"You can still sign up, you can still use the cars. Everything is very much the same," he said.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of the story said Vrtucar is a Montreal-based car sharing company. Communauto, Vrtucar's parent company, is based in Montreal while Vrtucar is in fact in Ottawa.
    Feb 05, 2018 11:17 AM ET