News / Edmonton

Edmonton to build dedicated carshare parking as market heats up

Rumours have been circulating about Zipcar taking a look at Edmonton.

Dedicated carshare parking stalls are shown in this 2006 file photo in Toronto. Edmonton is now investigating building dedicated carshare parking downtown.

Toronto Star File Photo

Dedicated carshare parking stalls are shown in this 2006 file photo in Toronto. Edmonton is now investigating building dedicated carshare parking downtown.

As Boston-based Zipcar peeks at the Edmonton market and as local carshare Pogo aims to expand to 50 vehicles by fall, the city is preparing to accommodate a potential  boom in carsharing by dedicating parking stalls downtown.

"Going forward we’ll be looking at designating stalls for carshare programs — not just for Pogo but other programs," said Brian Murphy, supervisor of parking management with the city. "There may be other programs wanting to come to Edmonton."

Rumours have been circulating about Zipcar taking a look at Edmonton. In an emailed statement, spokesperson Lindsay Wester said the company is "continuously evaluating new locations throughout Canada."

But though Wester refused to speak about specific plans in Edmonton, she did confirm that Zipcar's model, "allows us to place vehicles in a city, measure utilization and then grow based on demand."

Murphy said it's for these sort of potential expansions Edmonton is building the dedicated carshare parking stalls, estimating there would be between one and two stalls on every city block.

“We’re looking forward to Pogo or any other car share becoming successful in Edmonton," he said.

Kieran Ryan, a co-founder and CEO of Edmonton-based Pogo, had not heard the Zipcar expansion rumours, but said he's happy for others to join the market.

"The more carshares in Edmonton, probably the better," he said.

Indeed, both he and Murphy have credited the relative success of Pogo, the first and only large-scale carshare in Edmonton, as a signal to other companies the market is ready.

Pogo has expanded, but more slowly than first anticipated when it launched less than a year ago. At launch, Ryan said he hoped to have 150 cars in the city, but as of August there are now 44 cars.

The aim, he said, is to have 50 by the end of the fall.

“Whether we’ll hit the 150 or not … we probably won’t this year."

More on Metronews.ca