New transportation option allows students to rent cars on evenings and weekends
Pogo cars will be available on campus for faculty and students this academic year.
“The idea started to surface maybe a year or a year and a half ago when we were just trying to get a car sharing service on campus,” said James Smith, assistant dean finance and administration. Smith had been looking for car sharing services that would help promote student transportation.
“We had three vehicles that needed to be replaced this year,” said Smith. “When we heard about Pogo cars in Edmonton, we started talking to them, and it sounded like we could work something out.”
Smith said that student transportation is limited in Camrose. “We are always hearing about students who can’t get to Edmonton or the airport. It is hard for them to get around, so we wanted to address that.”
Currently located in Edmonton, Pogo has not operated in a small town until now. “They want to get smaller towns to operate their car sharing service, so this is really good for them,” said Smith.
“Pogo is just as excited as we are about this, they want to see it succeed and so everything is set up for them to come.”
The current model for the Pogo cars is that staff will have priority to book the cars during the day for business hours. The cars will be available for students from 5 p.m. onwards during the week, on weekends, and during holidays.
“Normally there is a little membership fee when signing up with Pogo, but we negotiated that it will be free for students to sign up for the first semester,” said Smith. “There will be a car and two SUV’s available. The car is approximately $10 an hour or $60 a day, and the SUV is $14 an hour or $75 a day.”
Students must be nineteen years old and have at least one year’s driving experience to sign up with Pogo. To book the Pogo cars, students need to download the mobile app and have a credit card.
“You can park anywhere on North campus, and you won’t get ticketed if it’s a Pogo car,” said Smith. “We are hoping to see a good uptake and some interest from students.”
Dean Allen Berger said that the agreement with Pogo “represents an exciting venture to reduce costs, gain efficiencies, and advance sustainability.”
“I hope it’s not too ambitious to hope that eventually ride sharing like Pogo might decrease the number of cars on campus and the demand for parking and that we might switch to electric vehicles,” said Berger.
“You do everything from your app, and it is quite simple, they just want to see people use their cars,” Smith said. “It really does help with the transportation, and if it works well, they can send another vehicle down. We are starting with three, but we hope it grows.”