Car2go to suspend Langley and Cloverdale campus service
Featured / March 14, 2017
Surrey in need of greater use to justify service
Tristan Johnston, Coordinating Editor
Ride sharing service Car2go is discontinuing service on both Langley and Cloverdale campuses at Kwantlen polytechnic University. Service will remain at the Richmond location, as well as Surrey campus.
Usage at Richmond campus remains standard, while Surrey campus usage is on the low side, needing more use to justify its presence on campus. The Kwantlen Student Association will promote its usage through social media and a Whistler prize package giveaway promotion, according to their Feb. 17 council agenda.
“It’s too bad, but it’s a program that wasn’t being used enough, so Car2go couldn’t justify keeping the cars stocked,” says KSA President and VP External Alex McGowan. “The problem with a service like that is that you need regular usage and dynamic usage, where people are driving it from every campus to every campus, otherwise Car2go needs to send an employee out to stock a parking lot, which costs quite a bit of money.”
McGowan says that there are numerous factors affecting Car2go’s usage on Langley and Cloverdale campuses.
“I think part of it is that, with a rideshare program, it’s most useful when it’s throughout the whole neighbourhood,” he says “So the only people who can use it at a place like Cloverdale and Langley are essentially people travelling between campuses, which is good, I’ve used it for that before.”
In the case of Car2go, there’s a large “home area” in Vancouver, meaning you can pick up and drop off a car almost anywhere within the city limits, so long as it’s parked legally. In Surrey, there are only a few designated pickup and drop off points, according to their map on their website.
“If you live in Vancouver, you can just pick up a Car2go outside your house and head to campus, which is convenient, or you can drive from campus back home and park outside your house, which is a lot more useful,” says McGowan. “I think a lot more people, particularly in Richmond but also in Surrey, are using it for those reasons.”
“The amount of usage needed in order for KPU Langley and Cloverdale to stay open would have been astronomical when compared to the actual usage we saw at the two locations,” writes Erin Sullivan, Location Specialist with Car2go, in an email. “It’s unfortunate, but in the case of Langley in particular, we averaged one trip per day in and out. Coupling the lack of usage with the lengthy idle times and the cost of maintaining cars that are so far outside our Home Area, we had to make the tough decision to close the two satellite spots.”
Car2go could not provide detailed statistics, citing data protection.
“When we entered into our relationship with KPU during the inception of our business here in Vancouver, we weren’t sure what the uptake would look like,” writes Sullivan. “Now that enough time has passed and significant analysis has been done by our data analysts in Germany, we’ve had to make some changes with respect to parkspot locations.”