Parking woes for Montreal’s new car-sharing service

Officials of Montreal’s new car-sharing program, car2go, are finding its vehicles illegally parked around the city — and are left to pay the parking tickets.

Many car2go vehicles are slapped with parking tickets in the first two weeks of the service’s launch

There's a ticket on the windshield of this car2go vehicle for being illegally parked on De Lorimier Avenue, in the borough of Rosemont—La-Petite-Patrie. (Monique Lacombe/CBC)

Officials of Montreal’s new car sharing program, car2go, are finding its vehicles illegally parked around the city  and are left to pay the parking tickets.

The new one-way car-sharing program launched on Nov. 2 in Montreal.

It’s the beginning. People need to get used to the system,- Jeremi Lavoie, Location Manager for car2go Montreal

It works similar to Bixi, the city’s bike-sharing program.

People register for the service, and can take out any of the 250 Smart cars for a one-way trip.

Once members arrive at their destination, they park the vehicle — which is proving to be a challenge.

‘A learning process’

Officials at car2go Montreal say its parking rules vary, and members are not familiar with them yet.

“It’s the beginning. People need to get used to the system. It will take some time but it’s okay ​— it’s part of the learning process,” said car2go Montreal's location manager Jeremi Lavoie, who could not give an exact figure as to how many parking tickets he’s seen so far.

The program already exists in two dozen cities around the world, including Toronto, Washington, Seattle, and London.

Lavoie said that in all the cities where car2go exists, parking tickets were common after the program’s launch.

“It's a totally new concept. Not everyone has heard of it. It takes some time for people to become familiarized with it."

For now, car2go vehicles in Montreal are only available in the boroughs of Rosemont—La-Petite-Patrie, the Plateau or in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

Members can park on any residential street in those neighbourhoods — as long as there is no parking restriction within 24 hours.

There are also six parking lots downtown, each with six reserved spots for car2go vehicles.

car2go foots the bill...for now

Normally, if a car2go vehicle is slapped with a parking ticket, it is up to the last driver to pay the fine.

However Lavoie says that, for now, car2go is paying all the parking tickets to give new members a chance to become more familiar with the rules.

In the future, car2go officials in Montreal hope to do what’s been done in other cities — negotiate a deal with the city where car2go cars are allowed to be in any metered spot free of charge, at all times.


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