Guest Post: “Who needs 5 cars?” by Jon Woodward and Laura Best
Laura and Jon are proud urbanites and have been using Modo since around 2007 and haven’t owned a car in over 10 years. Jon Woodward is a reporter with CTV Vancouver. Laura Best is a co-founder and lawyer at Embarkation Law Corporation, a immigration law firm in downtown Vancouver. Laura is on the Board of Directors for VAST (Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture); VAST is the only organization in BC which provides free trauma counselling for refugees as they transition into their Canadian life. Clare, their daughter/true boss of the house, is an independent and energetic two year old.
Laura Best and Jon Woodward don’t own a car, they share 500
Both Laura and I come from rural places outside of big cities. Laura’s family has a two-car garage; my family has had as many as five cars at once. And so when we tell them we don’t own a car – not a single one! – they don’t get it.
I don’t think I’ve ever really sat down and explained this to them. But if I had to I would say: when Laura and I met at UBC, we could walk to classes from residence. If we had to go off campus, we could use our U-Pass – and anything interesting was on transit.
You’d think when we started to work for a living that would have been when we would have to buckle down and get a vehicle. Instead, we moved downtown. We walked everywhere – work, to friends, doing errands — and it was then we discovered Modo. There had to have been cars every block in Vancouver’s West End. It was more convenient than parking your own car – and we didn’t have to pay for parking!
That was 10 years ago. We moved to Mount Pleasant a few years ago, and maybe that was the time we would have gotten a car. Instead we found ourselves biking a lot – and for errands that were a bit too heavy for the bike racks we could grab a Modo for a few hours.
The real test was our daughter. When she arrived we felt our family saying, “This is it. They’re going to cave.” And we thought we would too – we even made bets on how long we’d last. But instead we’ve just found other ways of doing it. And car seats that easily clip in and out of a Modo car are part of a solution. We’re biking, walking, taking the Skytrain, and taking the occasional Modo car. She’s almost two.
It hasn’t been hard. It’s been easier. Or at least easier than I imagine constantly shelling out for insurance, gas, maintenance, and car payments. Easier than replacing the windshield when a truck spits up a rock. Easier than dropping it off at a repair shop and struggling with a loaner.
So who needs five cars? I’ll take a share in 500 any day.
– Jon Woodward