Press Release: Modo Expanding into Victoria with Friendly Merger
Modo Expanding into Victoria with Friendly Merger
September 30, 2014, Vancouver, BC – Two of the oldest carsharing organizations in North America have announced plans to merge. With the popularity of carsharing growing dramatically in British Columbia, this friendly merger would mean a much larger service area for members in both cities.
“This is great news for Modo members, for Victoria members and for the carsharing movement,” says Modo CEO Nathalie Baudoin. “The transportation landscape in BC is changing, and this is one example of how carsharing is becoming a more viable option for people. It addresses issues of affordability and convenience, and it offers young people to retirees a great alternative to owning a car.”
Victoria Car Share’s current fleet of more than 23 vehicles and 800 members will join Modo’s Vancouver fleet of 345 cars and 11,000 members. Tom Berkhout, Chair of the Board of Directors for Victoria Car Share, says the merger will strengthen the carsharing movement in Victoria.
“Both Victoria Car Share and Modo share the same values and the same vision. Joining forces with North America’s first and most successful carsharing co-operative will bring immense benefits to our members in Victoria,” says Berkhout.
The expanded service will mean more and newer cars and a seamless link for those travelling between both cities. A major perk for Victoria carsharers is the use of Modo’s advanced on-board technology and online sign up for new members.
Modo is the oldest – and only local – carshare in Vancouver. A pioneer of the sharing economy, Modo was the first English-speaking car co-op in the world, founded in 1997 as the Co-operative Auto Network. Since its inception, the values-driven, member-owned carshare has been instrumental in the launch of carsharing in cities across the country, from nearby Gibsons, BC, to Saint John’s Newfoundland.
The merger is part of an ambitious new phase of growth for Modo that began in the spring with the hiring of its first CEO. In just the past year, Modo has launched carsharing in Port Moody and Coquitlam, doubled its fleet in Surrey, dramatically increased membership and launched online registration.
Even with competition in recent years from large multi-national corporate carsharing companies Zipcar and Car2Go, Modo continues to grow, experiencing 20 per cent revenue growth in each of the past three years. Among the three services, Modo covers the broadest service area with the most diverse fleet in the Lower Mainland.
“They have done a great job in Victoria and we want to invest here and help carsharing grow,” says Baudoin. “A single brand will upgrade the value of both services and increase awareness of carsharing in both locations. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Baudoin says the merger will honour and preserve the local spirit of the carsharing culture in Victoria. If all goes according to plan, Modo cars will be on Victoria streets in the spring of 2015.
ABOUT VICTORIA CAR SHARE
Victoria Car Share was founded in 1996. It currently has 23 vehicles and 800 members, and operates in the City of Victoria, Oak Bay, Saanich and Esquimalt.
Modo was the first carshare co-op in the English-speaking world, incorporated in 1996 and launched in 1997 with 16 members and two vehicles in Vancouver’s West End. Since then, the mission-based, not-for-profit, member-owned carshare has grown to more than 11,000 members and business drivers sharing access to 345 vehicles located throughout Metro Vancouver. More than 40 per cent of Modo members report getting rid of a car within a year of joining, for a cost savings of more than $5,000 per year. It’s estimated that every Modo vehicle takes 9–13 private vehicles off the road.
Media Contact: Cori Howard, Cell: 778-987-1345, email@example.com