(This story is sponsored by Modo.)
When it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, recycling empty soup cans and taking shorter showers make only a small—but still significant—difference. Those eager to protect the environment by opting for more climate-friendly choices need to consider new, sustainable ways of getting around.
In Canada, the transportation sector is the second-largest contributor to our country’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is one of the reasons why Modo, a member-owned carshare co-operative available to residents of Metro Vancouver, was launched back in 1997. Affordability, convenience, and inclusivity are also top-of-mind for the local company.
For folks yet to join Modo, the co-op offers round-trip service (otherwise known as two-way car-sharing), which can supplement cycling, walking, or the use of public transit. It can also help members shed their own vehicles, ridding them of the hassles associated with car ownership.
Modo has an impressive fleet, including cars, trucks, wheelchair-accessible vans, convertibles, and SUVs. It’s easy for members to book a vehicle that’s suitable for whatever they need to do—whether that’s a road trip, running errands, or picking up a new couch.
While Modo has been gradually introducing electric and hybrid vehicles to its members, the company recently announced that it will be transitioning to a zero-tailpipe emission fleet by 2030.
“Our purpose is to connect people in our communities with places in a way that’s affordable, convenient, inclusive, and sustainable. It’s at the core of everything we do,” says Jane Hope, director of marketing and communications at Modo. “Two-way car-sharing has been proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 to 50 percent. This is exactly why we’re moving toward a more sustainable fleet.”
For every Modo, nine to 13 private cars are removed from our city’s streets. This frees up more space for cyclists and reduces the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. It also lessens the number of cars parked along neighbourhood streets, creating more space for residents to enjoy.
“It’s crucial that the people living in Vancouver start sourcing out more ecofriendly transportation options,” says Hope. “We’re so gifted that our city has a wonderful multimodal network of transit and excellent bike lanes. Shifting to a car-free lifestyle is not only benefitting you personally but it’s also benefitting the entire city. It makes the community more inclusive and a better place to live. We desperately need to change the approach to how we live in Vancouver, in a way that’s sustainable for everyone.”
Because of our city’s growing population, the number of vehicles is also rising at an astonishing rate—the average household in Vancouver owns 1.6 cars.
“We’re living in an area that is densifying quickly so we no longer have the luxury of individually driving internal combustion vehicles. There’s nowhere to park or store them and as the population increases, we’re finding ourselves in the position of increasing greenhouse gas emissions substantially,” says Erin Sullivan, director of fleet operations at Modo. “As a collective society, we have to make the decision to look at more sustainable modes of transportation. Whether it’s driving an electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicle or using active modes of transportation like walking, cycling, and taking public transit.”
Since joining Modo, roughly a third of its members have been able to get rid of a car—or two.
“We are at the precipice of a fairly substantial overhaul in the way that we all move around and the way we view refuelling a car, be it by gas, hydrogen, or by electricity,” declares Sullivan.
In addition to being an ecofriendly transportation option, car-sharing can enhance your life in several other ways. Aside from saving you from the overwhelming upfront cost of purchasing a vehicle, Modo members can save hundreds of dollars each month on gas and insurance.
If you’re still not sold, imagine never having to step foot into an automotive repair shop ever again. This alone is enough to make someone have a healthier, more positive relationship with driving.
“With Modo, you’re not responsible for maintenance or having somewhere to keep it parked. You also have the freedom to have the right car for you at the right time, which really depends on what you’re doing,” says Hope. “The vehicles are fully serviced, you won’t need worry about gas or insurance—we cover all of that. Our members find car-sharing empowering and it helps them get things done without any added stress.”
Modo is always looking to create partnerships with organizations that believe car-sharing is a solution to sustainability and have access to electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Visit www.modo.coop/join-modo/ to sign up and get $50 in free drive time with code GSTRAIGHT.