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

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read