News / Edmonton

Edmonton startup Pogo expands to Camrose, becomes Alberta's first small-town car share

This is also the company's first move outside the city

Kieran Ryan is excited about Pogo expanding to Camrose, AB.

Kevin Tuong / Edmonton Freelance

Kieran Ryan is excited about Pogo expanding to Camrose, AB.

Small town life usually means owning a car to get where you need to go, but an Edmonton-based start up wants to change that.

Pogo, a local car-sharing app, is hitting the road and expanding service to Camrose, becoming the first ride share in Alberta available in a small town.

Public transit can be a challenge in cities without a huge population base--roughly 19,000 people live in Camrose--and Pogo Co-founder Kieran Ryan says ride shares can fill a significant gap.

“In a lot of small towns, public transit is pretty difficult and car sharing can really enhance the public transit system,” he told Metro.

“If you’re a family with one car, having a car share available to you in a small town is very useful,” he said.

For now, three of Pogo's cars will be based at University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus, about 90 kilometers south of Edmonton. Ryan said university officials asked the company to come to Camrose in order to provide another transportation option for students.

The service has been up and running in Camrose as of last month and he said so far, it has been working really well, Ryan said.

So well, that he said the company has had conversations with other small municipalities, and is thinking of expanding further.

Camrose may be the first small Alberta town to offer ride sharing, but it's not the only small community thinking creatively about transit. Earlier this year, Innisfil in Ontario signed a deal with Uber to offer discounts to its 36,000 residents.

Peter Berg, chair of the science department at Augustana, said he raised the idea after noticing students in town didn't have a lot of options to get around, or make the trip to Edmonton.

"That meant that they are missing out on services including medical services but also entertainment services and education opportunities," he said.

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