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PogoShare service a jump towards greener transportation

A popular Edmonton ride-sharing company is now making its services friendlier to students.

PogoShare and the University of Alberta’s Office of Sustainability have launched an official partnership, with PogoShare joining the Campus Sustainability Initiative. PogoShare cars can now be parked at lots N, U, M, R and L at the University of Alberta, as well as on the top levels of the Windsor, Stadium and Education Car Parks. Users with a U of A e-mail address need to be 19 years of age (instead of 21 for non-students) with at least one year of driving experience, have a driver’s license, have no at-fault collisions, two or fewer minor violations and no major violations in the last three years.

Students can use the code “UALBERTA” on the PogoShare website to waive the usual $35 registration fee and for 15 free driving minutes. Normal rates of 47 cents per minute, $14.99 per hour, $69.99 per day, and 30 cents per kilometer over 200 kilometres apply.

In addition, cars can be parked and left anywhere within “The Zone,” an area stretching from Oliver to Downtown to Old Strathcona with no charge. There is no limit to where the cars can be driven as long as they are parked in “The Zone.”

PogoShare, which was founded by Kieran Ryan, a U of A Faculty of Business alumni, allows users to access cars and use them one-way, to go anywhere. Ryan, President and co-founder of the service, said that in the past, his company hasn’t really been present on campus, and that he hopes the changes in user criteria will increase usage.

“Students are using it, we see the cars parked around campus,” Ryan said. “It only takes 30 seconds to pick up a car, and it can be used one way, so it makes sense for students.”

PogoShare users do not have to pay insurance, registration, maintenance, gas or parking. PogoShare research has estimated that one ride-sharing car can take the place of up to 15 single-owner vehicles. Trina Innes, Chief Sustainability Officer for the University, praised the program.

“With car sharing and our strong public transit links, anyone living, studying or working on campus has access to sustainable transportation,” Innes said in a press release. “These options reduce our climate impact.”

Ryan said he hopes the idea of having a car at their disposal on campus, in tandem with the uPass, will give students the peace of mind that usually comes with driving to campus.

“The purpose of ride-sharing is to go from one car, one person to one car, many people,” Ryan said. “People often bring their cars to campus just in case they need them. We hope to reduce that.”

PogoShare also stands as a successful startup by a young team of entrepreneurs. Ryan said he hopes this is a trend that continues in the future.

“There is a very active community of sustainability-oriented entrepreneurs in Edmonton being driven by UAlberta graduates,” Ryan said.

“The success of other U of A entrepreneurs was certainly a motivator for us.”

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