Modo Locations: Planning a car in Richmond
Last year, Modo added our first two cars in Richmond – one near Brighouse SkyTrain station, and one near Lansdowne. With usage growing in these areas, we’re now ready to add a third!
We analyze a lot of information when deciding where to place a new vehicle. Of course we look at usage rates in the neighbourhoods, which includes how often a vehicle is not available, but we also consider access to rapid transit lines (like the SkyTrain), where current members live and each vehicle’s efficiency. Even with all of that data, adding our third vehicle in Richmond proved to be slightly difficult.
Our first hurdle was the parking situation. We can’t place a vehicle just anywhere and the City of Richmond only designates a few parking spaces for carsharing. Secondly, our members are much more spread out in the Richmond area compared to dense neighbourhoods like Vancouver’s West End. Without a large cluster of members, finding a parking space within walking distance for many people stalled our progress. Essentially, we knew Richmond needed a third vehicle but had no obvious place for it.
That’s when we called upon our Richmond members for help. We sent a poll that included 5 potential parking spots and asked their opinion on each:
- Bridgeport SkyTrain (Garden City Road & River Road)
- Aberdeen SkyTrain (#3 Road & Cambie Road)
- Garden City Park (Garden City Road & Granville Avenue)
- Ironwood (#5 Road & Steveston Highway)
- Steveston (#1 Road & Moncton Street)
The responses were across the board reflecting the different needs of each member. When we asked, “How much [do] you think Modo needs at car at …, even if it wouldn’t be useful to you personally”, every location got at least one vote for “Definitely! We need a car here!”, and one for “Definitely not! A car here is a terrible idea.”
Going by these answers, we added up all the “Definitely!” and “Yes” votes for each location and learned the majority of Richmond members (65%) think Modo needs a car at Bridgeport SkyTrain station, with Aberdeen SkyTrain in second. After asking where would be the best location, we asked members to consider which location would benefit them personally and again, Bridgeport SkyTrain station won out.
This wasn’t a huge surprise to us since we had previously polled Richmond members where to place our first car in the area and Bridgeport tied with Lansdowne for second place. We also had a few write-in locations including:
- Grant McConachie Way @ YVR Airport
- Westminster Highway & #1 Road
- Granville Avenue @ Richmond City Hall
We’ll keep every one of them in mind for the future.
We love engaging our members to help with Modo’s operations when possible, but as we continue to grow in Richmond, a poll is going to become less useful. Clusters of members in one area will be large enough to outvote others. Besides, if we put every car into our densest neighbourhoods, we’d never have left Vancouver’s West End!
With our newest location settled upon in Richmond, we’ll be adding a minivan near Bridgeport SkyTrain station as soon as we source a parking spot. Keep an eye out for it later this year!
– Karen New, Information Systems Director