Students who opt for car-sharing as a transportation option now have new vehicles available on campus, but they might have to do some walking before they can drive them.
Car2go, a car-sharing service which uses Smart Cars exclusively, just expanded its service area to UBC campus as of February 1. But so far, spots have only opened in Wesbrook Place in South Campus.
UBC students are a significant part of Car2go’s customer base in Vancouver. “We have a lot of Car2go members who are also UBC students,” said Katie Stafford, the Car2go communications manager.
Prior to February 1, the cars could only be picked up or dropped off at locations east of Blanca Street.
“Many people contacting us and saying that they’d like us to be on campus, and we’ve listened to those requests,” added Stafford.
UBC student Avery Titchkosky was one of those students. Titchkosky contacted the company about expanding their service to UBC less than a week before the new parking spots were announced, and was not told of the impending expansion.
“I just wanted to suggest expanding the operating zone to include the UBC campus. This service is excellent for students, but it makes it very difficult to use it when we can’t end a reservation on campus,” wrote Titchkosky in an email to Car2go customer service.
“Despite our best efforts, the UBC administration has not been interested in working with us on a parking solution,” a Car2go customer service representative responded to Titchkosky in an email on January 27. “In the meantime, I would encourage you to contact UBC and express your interest in having Car2go vehicles available on campus,” the representative added.
Stafford did not comment to The Ubyssey regarding why Titchkosky was not told of the impending launch.
Car2go intends to expand to further locations on campus in the future. “[We're] hopefully expanding to have more parking available [on campus],” said Stafford.
Customers are appreciative, but some would prefer it if the parking spots were more convenient.
“I think this location is much too far from the majority of student housing. Gage, Marine, Totem or Vanier [are] at least 15 minutes [away] by foot,” Titchkosky said to The Ubyssey in an email.
Other members agree. “I think it’s a step in the right direction! I’d like to see more spaces closer to the heart of campus though,” said UBC student and Car2go customer Julia Paek on Twitter.
View UBC car-share locations in a full screen map