City hall unable to persuade Car2Go to remain in Calgary

Efforts by city officials to keep Car2Go operating in Calgary don't appear to be going anywhere.

Popular car-sharing company set to leave Calgary on Oct. 31

Car2Go says its service will end in Calgary, Austin, Texas, Denver and Portland on Oct. 31 and in Chicago on Dec. 31. (Daimler AG)

Efforts by city officials to keep Car2Go operating in Calgary don't appear to be going anywhere.

The car-sharing company announced last month that it will stop offering its service in the city on Oct. 31.

Eric MacNaughton with the city's transportation department says they have met with Car2Go officials to see if anything can be done that would allow the company to stay in business.

But so far, there's been no progress.

"At this time, nothing has changed their decision. They're still looking at ceasing operations on October 31st but we're continuing to have conversations with them and exploring if there's any more sort of innovative options that we can look at that would enable Car2Go to continue offering service in Calgary," he said.

"If not, we are also checking in with other car-share operators in North America, trying to understand what their business models look like, how they would be suited to the Calgary market and just really exploring all of our options right now."

Car2Go is also pulling out of four American cities: Denver, Portland, Austin and Chicago.

It left Toronto last year.

The company has said it will refocus its efforts on "the cities that present the clearest path to free-floating car-share success" — Montreal, Vancouver, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

The company cites economic reasons and increasing competition as being behind its decision to leave Calgary and other markets.

Phil Grace, who has used the company's cars for several years, says he's disappointed nothing can be done to get it to stay.

"I guess it's a corporate decision. There's not much that, you can't really hold the city accountable, I don't think. Yeah, it sounds like it was clearly a business decision and they made that call," he said.

Grace says if the city can attract another car-share company to come to Calgary, he'd be interested in giving that service a try.

More than 140,000 Calgarians are members of Car2Go, which started operating in Calgary in 2012.

With files from Scott Dippel