Communauto

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Communauto
Type Private
Industry Car rental
Founded 1994 (1994)
Headquarters Montreal, Canada
Key people Benoît Robert (Chairman and CEO)
Services Car sharing
Employees Equivalent to 68 full-time
Website www.communauto.com

Communauto is a company based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, that operates a carsharing service in four cities in Quebec: Montreal, Quebec City, Gatineau and Sherbrooke. The company has partnerships with VRTUCAR in Ottawa[1] and CarShareHFX in Halifax,[2] which allows customers to access cars in any city. Communauto also acquired Mobizen, Paris carsharing company, in 2012. In June 2013, Communauto launched Auto-mobile, its one-way free-floating carsharing service, in certain boroughs of the Montreal area. It has 32,000 users who share a fleet of approximately 1300 vehicles, station-based and free-floating, as of October 2014. The users per vehicle ratio can rise in winter to 20 users per vehicle and drops to about 15 users per vehicle in summer.

History[edit]

VRTUCAR, the carsharing service operating in Ottawa, has a partnership with Communauto.

Founded in Quebec City in 1994 by Benoît Robert, its current CEO, Communauto is the oldest carsharing organization in North America. Cycling advocate and environmentalist Claire Morissette (1950–2007) played a major role in its evolution starting in 1995, when Communauto established itself in Montreal as a private company. The company goal is to provide a convenient and economical alternative to owning a car.

Impact[edit]

The impact of carsharing in Quebec was evaluated independently as part of a conducted by Tecsult Inc. in 2006.[3] The study noted, among other things, that nearly three-quarters of Communauto users either sold a vehicle or chose not to purchase one after deciding to subscribe to the service, and that they lowered their yearly greenhouse gas emissions by more than one tonne on average.

Criticism[edit]

Accessing Communauto membership is difficult for Canada newcomers and people without or short credit history. There is a charge of an additional $500 if the applicant's credit history is under 12 months old, making $1000 down payment at the time of subscription.

Carsharing industry code of ethics[edit]

In October 2007, in collaboration with eight other North American carsharing organizations, Communauto started developing a code of ethics to guide and strengthen the industry. The goal of the code is to enable the public to distinguish between public-interest carsharing services, whether privately operated or not, and other commercial undertakings.

References[edit]

External links[edit]