car2go popularity could mean apathy with transit options


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Vancouver will soon have the largest car2go fleet in the world, so does that mean people are fed up with transit in the region?

With the failed transportation plebiscite still fresh on peoples’ minds, one transportation expert says it is possible the company is capitalizing on public unrest.

“The timing could be partly caused by the transit breakdown. These companies are smart and they’re not going to make the decision to enter unless they think the prospects are pretty good,” says Robin Lindsey, with UBC’s Sauder School of Business.

“car2go is sort of the beginning of the wave and it’ll mean that cities have transportation in a generation that quite different from what it is now.”

Meaning people will continue to look for alternatives to transit, or at least shorten some trips by using car sharing services.

“People no longer own a vehicle, they don’t need a garage at their house that frees up space, it frees up partial cost of the house, but the vehicles are there, it’s sort of driving as a service as it’s called.”

So people will rely even less on transit.

But politicians who championed the ‘YES’ side of the transportation plebiscite don’t think it means people have turned their backs on public transportation.

“The car sharing growth is fantastic. I don’t think it’s connected to transit. I think it’s actually directly connected to people wanting to drive less and not wanting to own cars because they’re so expensive,” says Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson.

“Whether it’s walking or biking or car-sharing or transit, all of those are going up exponentially at this point. We’ve had incredible growth. And that takes pressure off the roads. And less cars on roads means less traffic. I think it’s a great statement about people making good choices.”

Robertson says he expects car-sharing growth to continue as roads, become more congested.

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