2023 is the year of the new! After 7 years of loyal service, it is time to say goodbye to the first version of the Communauto app.
In collaboration with the Arrondissement Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, we are very pleased to announce the opening of 2 station zones and the arrival of 4 new cars.
The two new stations are located in the following areas:
- 695 – Station zone Beaubien et De Lorimier
- 697 – Station zone Beaubien et 27ème avenue
And in each of these station zones, 2 vehicles are now available by reservation.
What is a Station Zone and how does it work?
Unlike a regular station located in a fixed location, a station zone is an area on the map visible in the Communauto app.
The perimeter of the station zone is small enough to be crossed quickly on foot.
Vehicles at these stations are parked on the street and can be anywhere within the zone boundaries. They do not have a fixed parking space.
When booking your vehicle, you will only know the area where to find it.
Before starting the trip
Check the exact location of the vehicle in the mobile app before leaving. The vehicle will appear on the map up to 10 minutes before the start of your reservation (if it is already available).
At the end of the trip
When your reservation is done, simply release the vehicle within the station zone boundaries in a location that is not subject to restrictions.
The vehicles also have residential parking permits, just like FLEX vehicles, so the same rules apply for on-street parking. Read the signs carefully.
For more information, see the FLEX Parking Guide for your city.
You can also find detailed information for each station zone in the info-station, accessible during the trip by clicking on the name of the station in the Communauto app.
Station Zones: a solution for developing our carsharing network
Faced with the challenges of available parking spaces, we must use our creativity to develop our offer.
We therefore had the idea of combining the flexibility of the free-floating service (FLEX vehicles) with the reliability of the reservation service (round-trip vehicles in stations) in order to be able to meet the high demand in the densest neighborhoods.
This is how the “station zone” concept was born, launched more than a year ago in collaboration with the Arrondissement Plateau-Mont-Royal.
The success of this pilot project, introduced during the winter period, enabled us to verify the feasibility of this new type of station.
The last snowfall caused more than its fair share of situations, sometimes comical, but sometimes dramatic. Not to mention the reputational impact this can have when vehicles are abandoned in places where they obstruct the path of residents or bring complaints from parking managers.
Often, the survival of our stations hang by a thread and we need everyone’s collaboration to prevent it from breaking. Here are the 5 commandments to add to your “good car sharer” toolbox:
Good (re)FLEXes, you shall keep
Some give in too easily to the temptation to temporarily park their FLEX or release it in a space reserved for round-trip vehicles in a station. We have a nice example of this in the photo below (see the vehicle in the background, right). However, this is totally prohibited:
- It is forbidden to park a FLEX in a round-trip station or elsewhere than in authorized places, which does not include alleys, nor commercial parking lots and even less towing areas (yes, we’ve seen cases…).
- Vehicles should always be parked appropriately so as not to obstruct traffic.
We strongly encourage you to refer to the FLEX parking guide if in doubt.
Shovel to park (sometimes), you must
It’s no secret that snow makes parking difficult. And even if some people think that our vehicles are as sturdy as a 4×4 or are tempted to parallel park à la “Fast and Furious” in unlikely places, let’s try to show some restraint!
If the car gets stuck while you are using it, you remain responsible for it, and everyone is expected to either fix the situation on their own or contact us for help. But under no circumstances can you slip away without even telling us, as has happened many times in the last week. This is true even in situations that occur at one of our stations, as seen in the photo above.
If this vehicle had been yours, would you have abandoned it in that way? Do we really want to be the laughingstock of everyone on social media?🤔
Reserved parking spots, you will respect
In stations, certain rules must also be respected if we do not want to lose our spots there:
In some stations, it is possible to park anywhere onsite, while in others, specific places are assigned to us. Stay alert to make sure you park in the right place and always consult the station info by clicking on the name of the station in your app to find out the rules applicable to this location.
Accessories, you will put back in place
Believe it or not, a strange phenomenon of duplication or disappearance of accessories leads us to have to remind you that the shovel and the snow brush must remain in the vehicle so that the next member can also use them. Strangely, some vehicles end up with three snow brushes and two shovels while others do not have any!
Please store these accessories in the trunk after using them. It’s never very pleasant to sit on a soggy seat…
Enough washer fluid, you will ensure
So as not to be caught off guard, we strongly advise you to always check the washer fluid level before using a vehicle and, if necessary, that a container is present in the vehicle.
If there is no more, you can buy some. Unfortunately, because of past fraud, it will not be possible for you to pay with the credit card present in the vehicle (these cards only work for gas purchases) but you can provide us with your receipts via the app and you will be reimbursed.
If possible, dispose of the empty containers at the gas station! If you leave them in the vehicle, they will only unnecessarily clutter.
Thank you for your collaboration!
It’s summer and many of you will be on the road to vacation soon. And although availability is not too bad from Monday to Friday, weekends (especially sunny ones) will remain an issue…
1. Think FLEX, even for long reservations
For last-minute trips or trips of a day or two, FLEX vehicles are an excellent alternative when no round-trip cars are available. To maximize your savings, consider subscribing to one of our Value plans and use the trip calculator to compare the cost differences. You might be surprised!
2. Longer does not necessarily mean more expensive
For a weekend outing (but this is also true during the week), did you know that taking possession of a FLEX the evening before departure can cost you the same price as the following morning? And in the evenings, hundreds of cars in Montreal and dozens in Quebec become available again. Where else will you find such a generous offer at the last minute and at such competitive prices?
3. Plan ahead
You may already know this, but as a reminder for new users:
- For multi-day trips (especially if they include a Saturday or Sunday), to maximize your chances of finding a vehicle at a station not too far from where you want it, book as soon as possible, ideally a few weeks (up to one month) in advance.
- If your plans change, you can cancel the reservation free of charge up to two hours before, and even until 9am on the day of your departure.
Don’t abuse last-minute cancellations…but don’t feel guilty, either, if you do so in good faith and believe you really needed a vehicle on that date. Last-minute cancellations are not just a calamity: they allow those who had not booked in advance to sometimes find a car on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday in summer.
4. Try and try again
You may not find the vehicle you are looking for the first time around. So try again! For vehicles in stations, check frequently to take advantage of last-minute cancellations. It works more often than you think. If it’s a short trip (just a few hours), vary the length of your trip and/or try different times.
Another option: do you know the web tool that we call the “reservation grid”? This tool (which is available in the online version only) is practical for a last-minute reservation because it allows you to know precisely, for the next 72 hours, the start and end dates/times of the reservations of all the vehicles of a station or a station selection. This allows you, if you have some flexibility, to adjust your trip time to squeeze between two reservations.
No FLEX cars near you? Sometimes we even wonder if it might be a technical issue! However, by refreshing the page frequently on the app, vehicles appear most of the time here and there, even during long weekends. After a few minutes, if you’re patient, chances are it’s your turn.
Summer is always hot at Communauto
We won’t hide it, the vacation period at Communauto always represents a challenge. At one time, we could count on the rental companies, on weekends, to absorb our excess demand. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case today and rental prices are reaching stratospheric heights.
We could have given in to the temptation to increase our rates too, to take advantage of this windfall, but that would have been opposite to our mission, which is to offer you an economically interesting alternative to car ownership. And to achieve this goal, it is necessary to offer predictability in prices, and to not yo-yo according to demand.
The counterpart of this approach is that it happens, at certain times, that demand exceeds supply because we deprive ourselves of being able to use the price signal to regulate demand. All in all, if we look at the situation as a whole, you are the primary beneficiaries. Yes, it requires some planning, but what other service gives you so much for so little?
We are delighted with the growing interest in carsharing. And despite the constraints (external ones too, as much as those we impose on ourselves remain faithful to our mission), we are aware that we must continue to put all our energies into improving our offer. For that, you can count on our team!
Thank you for your understanding.
Montreal, March 24, 2022. Communauto, the largest carsharing service in Canada and the oldest in North America, is planning substantial growth in its vehicle fleet after an exceptional 30% increase in the number of members and overall usage of the service in 2021.
To meet this demand in 2022, Communauto has ordered 1,300 new vehicles from manufacturers to add to the service before summer, despite car industry supply issues which could last until 2023.
The largest increase in the fleet will be in Montreal, where 800 vehicles will be added (200 in stations and 600 for the FLEX service). In total, more than 3,000 vehicles will be available to Montrealers by the end of the summer.
“Communauto is responding to the significant growth in demand we saw in 2021 by planning a major increase to our service. This growing demand demonstrates the importance of carsharing as an urban mobility solution that is more sustainable and efficient than the personal car. It also opens the door to major challenges: first, the difficulty of the automotive industry to guarantee the number of cars ready to deliver and second, the significant delays between orders and deliveries. We experienced this in 2021 and we fear that it could also affect the supply this year, despite our efforts. One thing is certain, Communauto has the capacity and the commitment to guarantee the availability of our service and to meet the growing needs of citizens who wish to adopt carsharing, in combination with other public transit and active mobility options,” states Benoit Robert, president and founder of Communauto.
“The City of Montreal welcomes the expansion of the Communauto fleet with great enthusiasm. Our administration has done more for shared mobility than any other. From the start, we have resolutely positioned ourselves as an essential partner, always with a view to offering more mobility options to Montrealers, and to decongest the city. Driven by this desire, we have made several important regulatory changes to promote carsharing and self-service vehicles in recent years, and we intend to continue on this path, in collaboration with the boroughs, in order to allow an equitable distribution of the service throughout the city,” added Sophie Mauzerolle, member responsible for transportation and mobility on the executive committee of the City of Montreal.
In Quebec City, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton and Paris
In Quebec City, there will be more than 300 cars available with the addition of approximately 45 cars, including 15 for the FLEX service (+25%).
Toronto will not be outdone, as the company is also planning a significant increase to its fleet, with 250 new vehicles (+60%). Similarly, 200 vehicles will go to Halifax, Ottawa, southwestern Ontario, Paris, Edmonton and Calgary, where the supply of reservation-based station vehicles continues to grow alongside the supply of FLEX cars.
In 2022, Communauto will expand to Hamilton, Ontario, where the FLEX service will soon be available. As a reminder, this service allows you to use Communauto vehicles on demand and without prior reservation. The FLEX service, introduced in 2013, has already won over the cities of Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Edmonton, Toronto and Calgary.
More electric cars
As for electrification, Communauto has ordered 100 new electric cars, which would be additions and replacements for some of the 110 fully electric units currently in service. Unfortunately, less than half of this order, Niro EVs, has been fulfilled thus far by the manufacturers: a striking example of how vehicle shortages present a challenge to achieving growth objectives. The same applies to hybrid vehicles, available only in small quantities, requiring us to return to gasoline models.
More spacious cars
In 2022, Communauto is also continuing to diversify its fleet by adding more spacious cars to the station-based service in order to meet the needs of families and long-distance trips. For example, the Niro Hybrid model will be added to stations with the Kona and Tucson models. The latter will be available at a price surcharge of 10%. Corollas, which are already available by reservation in stations, will also be added to the FLEX service.
The recent spike in gasoline prices is likely to further boost demand for carsharing. “The best way to cope with the rising cost of gas is more cycling, walking and public transit – and supplementing with carsharing,” adds Benoit Robert.
Communauto and the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) are launching a new joint package called Bus + FLEXauto available since January 18, 2022.
New package, new offer
This exclusive offer is available for $99 from the RTC Nomade payment app, just $10 more than the classic RTC monthly pass. It includes an RTC General monthly pass as well as 10 FLEX Communauto trips, lasting 30 minutes each.
FLEX trips only become billable from the 31st minute (100 km are included per trip, 20¢ per additional km).
Available only on the RTC Nomade payment application at a cost of $99, choose the RTC Monthly Bus + FLEXauto package to take advantage of it today!
You have the current month of your RTC ticket to use your 10 rides included in your monthly package. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to use your Bus+ FLEXauto pass for a given trip from the Communauto app. Trips not used before the end of the current month cannot be carried over to the following month.
One more step towards integrated mobility
This new innovative package improves the customer experience and strengthens our integrated mobility offer with the RTC. It is also the first offer to be integrated into a single public transit and car-sharing package in Canada.
Thanks to this joint offer, we are offering residents of Quebec City and its surroundings the opportunity to take full advantage of complementary, practical, flexible and attractive travel solutions.
We are therefore grateful to the RTC, which involves us in its strategic vision of integrated mobility, allowing Communauto to pursue its mission, that of building a mobility offer that is more efficient and sustainable than the private car.
Remember that with the RTC, we already offer options (monthly or annual) to allow you to save and take advantage of the Communauto subscription.
To find out how to benefit from this new pass and take full advantage of this exclusive offer, click here.