In the present context where physical distance is required to limit the spread of Covid-19, but where it is still important to maintain transportation services allowing people who must nevertheless travel be able to do so in the safest way possible, carsharing remains an essential service. Thousands of households in Ontario rely on Communauto for their essential travel.
Therefore, we decided to continue our activities while putting in place preventive measures and special offers for all members, and especially for those in the health care field.
Our preventive measures
All our employees are working from home, except for our fleet agents who disinfect vehicles and who have no contact with the public and are each equipped with an exclusive car.
Since vehicles are confined spaces, you are unlikely to come into contact with the virus through coughing or sneezing unless you are accompanied by an infected person. Even though health authorities confirm that transmission of Covid-19 by indirect contact is rare and that survival of the virus on dry surfaces is not well documented, we are focusing on disinfecting our vehicles with a certified virucidal product sprayed on the most used surfaces (door handles, armrests, seatbelt buckle and lock button, interior rear-view mirror, rear-view mirror controls, window controls, front seats adjustments control, fuel hatch and trunk lever (depending on the model), steering wheel, indicator and headlight levers, gear lever, dashboard, and handbrake).
Given the nature of our service, it is impossible to guarantee hygiene between uses. Although vehicles are a relatively safe place, certain precautions are necessary to avoid contracting or transmitting the virus by contact. Hygienic measures allowing cars to be used safely are, however, accessible to everyone.
The best attitude to adopt, under the circumstances, is that of prevention:
- After using a vehicle, avoid putting your hands to your mouth, nose, or face before washing your hands with warm running water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based disinfectant if you do not have access to soap and water.
- Do not hesitate to clean the steering wheel, or other surfaces, with disinfecting wipes if you have the supplies to do so.
- More than ever, do not leave any waste (tissues, cups, papers, etc.) in vehicles. Be sure to pick up all your belongings before leaving the vehicle.
If you have symptoms of illness, we recommend that you do not use our vehicles. If you must do so, it is extremely important to let us know so that we can block the vehicle and disinfect it.
When a customer reports to us that they have used or want to use a vehicle in these circumstances, the following procedure is applied:
- The vehicle is blocked for 72 hours.
- It is then disinfected.
If you have been diagnosed with the virus, you should not, under any circumstances, use a Communauto vehicle. If you must travel in such a case, you must contact the public health department in your region which will take care of the arrangements for your transport.
In such situations, we will be forced to suspend your account.
We are counting on everyone’s collaboration to help us, collectively, get out of this crisis and we encourage you to report, if necessary, any situation and/or inappropriate behaviour.
To respond more effectively and more safely to the essential mobility of our users, we have put two special offers in place.
Exclusive vehicle for an extended period: Long distance rate capped at $75/week for essential travel
Exceptionally, until the end of May, the Long Distance rate will be capped at $75/week (costs per km extra), to allow Value plans members who would like to have access to an exclusive vehicle for an extended period to do so at the best price possible. The cost per km remains unchanged: 17¢/km for the first 300 km, 13¢/km for additional kms.
The best price for your trip will be automatically applied! This means that as soon as the cost of a trip billed at the regular rate reaches the threshold of the Long Distance rate, you will be billed the price of the Long Distance rate (the cheaper of the two).
For health workers
To facilitate travel for health care workers, offers have been put in place and are valid until the end of May:
- First week-long booking – no hourly/daily charge, just pay per km rates of 17¢/km for your first 300 kms, and 13¢/km after that
- Subsequent weeks – add $75/week (same price per km as above applies)
- Trips can be broken up – i.e. your first week-long trip you will just pay kms. If you keep the same vehicle longer or make another week-long trip later in April or May, that will be billed at $75/week, plus kms.
- To best take advantage of this offer, we recommend keeping the vehicle for an entire week, as multiple shorter trips during the week could end up being billed at a cumulative higher price than one week-long trip.
Other notes about this offer:
- No matter what your current plan is, this offer will be accompanied by access to the Value Extra plan with no monthly fee.
- Waived $500 membership bond for the duration of the offer, if you aren’t already on a Value plan, or for new health care members (help us spread the word!)
- If you don’t need the vehicle for as long as a week throughout the month of April, the Value Extra plan will still provide the most affordable driving rates for other essential trips during the rest of the month.
At the end of the offer period, we will return your account to your current rate plan.
To access this offer:
- Current members, please send us your health care ID badge or other form of identification using our contact form, so we can apply the offer.
- New applicants can use the promo code HEALTHWORKER to access the waived $500 membership bond and are asked to include their health care ID badge/identification with their application. At the end of the offer period, new members can elect to maintain a Value plan membership by paying the $500 membership bond, change to an Open plan (no bond required), or close their account.
Rest assured that we are monitoring the situation and the instructions of the authorities closely and are adjusting our actions accordingly.