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

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read