Communauto, your government-funded car

The STM and government-run car-sharing service Communauto have come to an agreement that allows people buying a year’s worth of transit passes to get a significant discount on membership fees for car-sharing.

It makes sense. The point of Communauto is that the car is used only when necessary, and public transit is used at other times.

But since both are largely government-funded services, the money is inevitably coming out of our pockets. Communauto is heavily subsidized, which is what allows it to have such low prices. With less revenue from users, they’ll have to rely on the government even more.

6 thoughts on “Communauto, your government-funded car

  1. blork

    It wouldn’t surprise me if Communauto got some subsidies, but I’m quite sure they are not “run” by the government. There’s a big difference between “government run” and “government funded.”

    Regardless of semantics, I think it’s a worthy thing to fund. When I lived on the Plateau I was a member of Communauto, and it was brilliant.

  2. Xavier

    Wow… Your blog offers solid content but this article sticks out like a sore thumb. Communauto is definitely not government-run. It is a private company. I could not find evidence that they are “heavily subsidized” anywhere, so please provide a link or some sort of evidence backing up that statement. I was told when I subscribed to Communauto that they had to pay regular monthtly parking fees whenever their vehicles use city parking lots. No preferential treatment from the city.

    As for either the STM or Communauto losing money with this deal, this is complete nonsense.

    At 12 000 users, Communauto makes 99% of it’s revenues from hourly and mileage fees when you use a car. Not from the 500$ one time inscription fee or the 35$ annual fee (that are waived with the new Duo offer).

    This Duo deal is good marketing meant to make the combination of STM and Communauto more appealing, so that more people can ditch their private vehicles. If more people ditch their cars… more people take the bus, the metro and Communauto, and the STM and Communauto make more money. Simple math.

    Also, if more people ditch their private cars and use public transit / car sharing, less space needs to be used for parking lots, making cities more compact. If cities are less sprawly, cities don’t need as many roads. Roads are *really* expensive to build and to maintain… (1.5 billion to tear down the Turcot interchange!). Much more so than any public transit system.

    I can understand that you might want to keep your private car for various reasons, but please don’t whine about Communauto and the STM getting money from “our pockets” when the sprawly mess of highways, bridges and overpasses that the STM and Commuauto are trying to limit are sucking money from “our pockets” about 1 000 000 times more quickly.

  3. cricu

    It’s hard to become a member of communauto if you are a newcomer. So this sucks. If you don’t have credit longer than 12 months the duo is out of the plate and you have to pay 1000$ if you still want it. They don’t say that on the website.

  4. Gaston Lagaffe

    Because I declared bankruptcy several years ago, I was barred from joining Communauto – even though I have a credit card and their service is cash-only. In fact, the person I spoke to made me very much feel like I was not welcome (a reflection of the individual, I’m sure, but the experience wasn’t very pleasant).

    Considering their “community” pretense, I think Communauto should be a little more accessible to those who REALLY can’t afford to buy a car…

  5. cricu

    Update to my post on October 2, 2008 at 3:15 pm. I have MY OWN 2010 EDITION MAZDA now and trust me, I use it for EVERYTHING. Even if I have to buy a Coca-Cola bottle from the corner of the street, I jump into my car. I will never use STM or a bicycle ever again! I have my car to go out of the city every week-end and crowd the downtown streets every day during the week. Thank you Communauto for kicking me in the back, it helped me take it a step forward.


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