Friday, February 23, 2024

Modo carsharing co-operative offers its cars at cost during COVID-19 crisis


After two large international players in the province’s mobility industry, Car2go and Zipcar, announced they are pulling out of B.C. on May 1, local member-owned carshare co-operative Modo assures its members it is here to stay, both during the pandemic and long afterwards.

Not only are Modo’s car doors open for business, the company says their vehicles are being cleaned significantly more often — 40% more, to be exact.

Increased sanitation of high-touch surfaces like doors, steering wheels, gear shifts and controls ensures members using the cars on any occasion, whether it’s for grocery shopping or making deliveries to family members, can still get around during this time of need.

Most recently, the carshare co-op — which was founded in 1997 — launched a new initiative, designed to keep essential workers moving in a safe and affordable way, providing the service at cost for essential workers.

This comes at a critical time when those who need to get to work or deliver essential goods and services are unable to use public transit, either due to physical distancing requirements or as a result of route closures.

Constance Barnes is one such member making use of Modo’s Essential Transportation Program in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side where living conditions are at their worst.

“I’ve been a long time member and right now my Modo Van is my lifeline to the work I do in the DTES,” says Barnes.

“I deliver masks, gloves, food, water, cleaning supplies and much more to the most vulnerable people in this province.”


But not everyone’s definition of essential work looks quite as heroic as this.

As physical distancing measures and travel restrictions continue, some Modo members still require the use of their vehicles for essential trips — whether that means delivering care or necessary goods, picking up groceries, or simply getting to work if the doors to your business are still open.

Modo’s Essential Transportation Program is available to new and existing members in Victoria at a flat monthly rate of $500, which includes gas, insurance and 600 kms. The service is being offered at cost — Modo’s way of giving back during this crisis.

Colette Griffiths, another member using Modo’s Essential Transportation Program, is the co-owner of the Federal Store. Together with her partner Chris, Griffiths was able to transition their small brick and mortar business to online delivery while also hiring more staff at a time when many have lost their jobs.

“In response to the pandemic we launched a delivery-by-donation program that allowed people to order groceries online and have them delivered to their doorstep on a pay-what-they-can-afford model,” says Griffiths.

“We could not have pulled this program off without access to larger vehicles in the Modo fleet. The program has been such a success that we have been able to hire on extra staff.”

Modo is confident their Essential Transportation Program will help everyone in the co-op get through this difficult time together, and look forward to continuing to serve the Victoria community in good times and in bad.


If you can make use of Modo’s Essential Transportation Program, send an email to, with ESSENTIAL TRANSPORTATION in the subject line.

You can read more about the new program online, and if you’re new to Modo, let them know you heard about the offer through Victoria Buzz (use promo code VICBUZZETP) and get $25 in free driving credits!

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