New rules to prevent Car2Go clusters are working

The city says new rules brought in last year to prevent Car2Go vehicles from taking all the parking spots on a particular block appear to be working.

Not all councillors are convinced though

Car2Go vehicles parked in downtown Calgary. (CBC)

Efforts to cut down on the cluster parking of Car2Go vehicles appear to be paying off.

The city says since new rules on parking for car-share vehicles came in last summer, no financial penalties have been levied.

Concerns about rows of identical vehicles hogging entire blocks of parking stalls on downtown streets led to the rule change.Council approved limiting car-sharing services to 25 per cent of the parking spaces in a pay parking zone over the period of a month. 

If the company exceeds that mark, then it will have to pay the city more money.

City council's transportation and transit committee heard Thursday that the penalty has not yet been levied as clustering in high occupancy parking zones has stopped.

Clustering is still happening elsewhere but it's deemed to not be a problem as there's other parking readily available nearby. 

Car2Go credits its members

Jon Wycoco with Car2Go told the committee that its 120,000 car-sharing members are helping to keep its 600 vehicles from clustering together in high occupancy parking zones. 

"When we checked over our data, approximately 98 per cent — which is the vast majority of all of our movements — are done by our members," he said.

Coun. Evan Woolley said changing the rules seems to have resolved any problems.

"I represent half the downtown. I am getting no complaints from businesses about clustering of Cars2Go out front," he said.

But another councillor told the committee he's not sure sure the problem has been resolved.

Coun. Sean Chu said he's still getting emails about the situation.

"Not as much as before but we're still getting emails. Eighth Avenue, a lot of them are from businesses and they say 'where are all our customers going to park?'"

The city states in a report to the committee that it received fewer than 100 inquiries about car sharing over the past two years.

The Calgary Parking Authority reports that on average, it receives less than five inquiries per month about Car2Go.

Micro-stalls get little use

Data from the Calgary Parking Authority does show that another innovation for Car2Go isn't working as well.

The city created what it calls micro-stalls, specifically for parking smaller Car2Go vehicles near intersections.

Data shows those spots, which have signage posted next to them, aren't being utilized much at all.

On a typical weekday morning, the smaller parking spaces have an average occupancy below 20 per cent.

Wycoco said the reason for the lack of use is a bit of a mystery.

"We haven't determined as to the reason why people don't necessarily like using the micro-stalls. They are convenient, being at the corners.  They are easy to pick up and drop off as well," he said.

Car2Go is currently the only car-sharing company operating in Calgary.

City officials say they have been contacted by another car-share company that's considering operating in the Calgary market.