Central Saanich Coun. Zeb King stands next to a Modo car. (Courtesy of Zeb King)

Car sharing coming to Central Saanich

Modo operate in Victoria, Kelowna and ferry terminals, now coming to Saanichton and Brentwood Bay

Central Saanich council plan to partner with car-sharing company Modo, with three cars available by summer 2019.

B.C. company Modo maintains a fleet of 700 cars and says it has over 20,000 members. Users pay a $500 deposit, which they get back if they decide to leave the service or move out of province. Cars are stationed in convenient places to be booked via app, and cost $5 an hour and 30 cents a kilometer. Users say it is an easy and environmentally friendly alternative to mass car ownership. At the moment, the company has cars stationed in Victoria, Kelowna and the ferry terminals at Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay.

ALSO READ: Spectre of housing looms over mayors’ breakfast

Following council’s decision, a three-year pilot partnership will be established with Modo. Modo will provide three cars, one in Brentwood Bay and two in Saanichton.

Although all cars would be available to the public, one of the two, an electric vehicle, will be stationed near municipal hall. Council predict their personnel will use the car enough for a fleet vehicle to be struck from their budget, saving money.

If the pilot proves successful within the first year, another car would be added to Brentwood Bay.

Coun. Zeb King is delighted at the decision, something he’s been campaigning to happen for 16 years.

ALSO READ: Anti-theft stickers distributed in Sidney and North Saanich

“It’s great,” he said, before adding, “it will only work if people sign up, so the municipality has agreed to a backstop.”

For the scheme to be worthwhile to Modo, their base operation costs are $63,000 so the council will put up the money as a backstop and try to recoup the fee later on through property taxes developers pay called “amenity contributions.”

Property developers in Saanichton will pay an extra $500 per new housing unit they build and the homeowners who buy each unit will receive a free $500 Modo license, each one chipping away at the $63,000 backstop. So far, 75 memberships have been secured.

Additionally, there will be a usage revenue guarantee of $12,000 council agreed to pay if the cars aren’t used enough within a year. King and his fellow councillors hope people will sign up to use the cars, as that fee will drop when usage thresholds are met.

ALSO READ: North Saanich by-election triggered by one-month councillor to cost $27,000

Coun. Carl Jensen is pleased to offer residents an alternative mode of transport.

“It is important to keep advocating for public transit as car sharing at $5 an hour can be too expensive for some people, but I’m supportive of it, and I’m pleased to add an alternative for our residents.”

Jensen, who used to use a Victoria car sharing service before they were absorbed by Modo, says car sharing is especially useful for people who normally use the bus, but need to get somewhere quickly or move bulky goods, like after a trip to the hardware store.

King is delighted with the new arrangement and jokes that his persistence has finally paid off.

“My message to new councillors is don’t give up if you’re pushing for something. You just need to stick with it for 16 more years.”



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man enters unlocked Saanich home with knife, sexually assaults 22-year-old

Investigation ongoing after woman sexually assaulted in Gordon Head early Sunday morning

Dunahee run continues 28 years after four-year-old disappears

The Michael Dunahee ‘Keep The Hope Alive’ happens on March 24

Fossil fuels drive Canada’s position in the global energy market

Various fossil fuels account for almost 90 per cent of Canada’s energy production

Tagalog, Arabic and Urdu among fastest growing languages in Canada

Italian and German have seen double-digit drops, while French and English are growing, but slowly

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

B.C. First Nations’ intake of essential nutrients could drop by 31%: study

Professors project the nutrient decrease by 2050 if climate change mitigation continues as is

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Gunman kills 3 on Dutch tram; mayor says terror likely

Utrecht police release photo of 37-year-old man born in Turkey who is ‘associated with the incident’

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Scientists analyzed beehives in high density urban areas to those off on Galiano Island

Most Read