Roaming the world with Modo The Car Co-op
One of the perks of being a Modo member is the ability to carshare in other cities. That’s right, using your Modo membership, you can book vehicles in cities as far off as Melbourne, Australia, or as close by as Nanaimo, BC! Find the full list of places where Modo members are eligible to take advantage of our roaming agreements at www.modo.coop/what/roaming.
Roaming with Modo is a great way to reduce your expenses and the environmental impact of your out-of-town escape. Below, read about Modo’s new events and volunteer coordinator Tommy’s recent roaming adventure with Victoria Car Share Co-op:
This past spring, my partner and I decided to head over to the Island for the weekend with the idea to drive up the coast (using the scenic route of course) with a Victoria Car Share vehicle – thanks to the roaming agreement with Modo.
This blog post is just a highlight of the adventures we had all thanks to carsharing; it works.
We’d booked Victoria Car Share’s car #31, the 2011 blue Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car. (What a concept, heh?) Our adventure began the night before our trip, sitting at my partner Cody’s parents place in the Victoria area. We were potentially going to be picking up a friend in Ladysmith and bringing them back with us down the Island. But… I suddenly realized that the car we’d booked might not have four seats. I looked it up and discovered, to our misfortune, that in fact it only had 2 seats, and thus the panic began. Needless to say we immediately called the Modo 24-hour booking centre to ask for “help”! To my surprise they were able to connect to the Victoria Car Share booking system and change the booking if we wanted, however due to the fact the booking was within 24 hours there would potentially be a charge… so we ended up just keeping our original booking and, well, letting our friend know that plans have changed.
The following morning, we are up bright and early to transit down to the vehicle. Multi-modal transportation FTW! When the clock struck 9, we got to the car, where with an old school key we retrieved the actual key from the lock box behind the car. It was kind of nice to have access to a real key all day instead of having to fob in and out every single time.
As we got in, some nearby construction workers asked if this was one of “their nicer cars”? He did not ask what the Victoria Car Share was, he asked about the specifics of their fleet. Right then and there I was very proud to be part of the carshare movement and also quite impressed with the Victoria Car Share and their visibility in the city.
So the road trip begins.
We drove up the highway towards Nanaimo until we could turn onto what the road sign called the “scenic route.” Our first stop was Goldstream, a little rest stop with a stream and some walking paths. That’s where the photo of me being super happy was taken. I always enjoy driving different cars each time I book and since Modo doesn’t have one of these in their fleet I was very ecstatic as you can see.
After our brief walk around Goldstream we continued up until we hit Mill Bay where there was a rowing competition happening. We almost decided to stop and watch the event, but the weather was not in our favour so we stopped for a bite to eat at, dare I say it, McDonald’s. This is where another interesting thing happened. As we were heading back to the car, a lady stopped and asked me if I enjoyed driving the Honda CR-Z as she was looking into buying a new car. Don’t worry I threw in my elevator pitch of carsharing…
Next we stopped at Cowichan Bay, a tiny little village that sits on the coast. We walked around the village for a bit, stopped by a local bakery to buy some fresh bread made with 100% local ingredients. We don’t remember the bakery’s name but it had a bike hanging from its roof so you can’t miss it.
We also adventured to a little boat museum, which was built along the docks. It was nice to see that our history is getting preserved around the world. The only downside to this is that pigeons had a tendency to fly into the boat houses where the exhibits were, so on the way out of the museum we had a close encounter with a pigeon. That’s a story for another day.
Following our stop in Cowichan Bay, we continued up the road enjoying the views that this beautiful province has to offer and stopped in Duncan. Here we stopped at a mall and did some shopping. I mean, no road trip would be complete without a stop at your not-so local mall.
Our next adventure was driving through Chemainus, the scenic route again, but we didn’t stop and accidently ended up in Ladysmith. Yes, accidentally. Since we we’re there, we stopped for a bit to eat at a local café downtown and then headed back down the island to Victoria.
The trip back we decided to use the highway, as we were on the equivalent of the co-op membership, meaning that we were paying by the kilometre. The only detour we took was the East Shawnigan Road where my partner fell asleep so I was driving around the sharp turns and narrow roads at 40km/h on my own. It was a quiet and beautiful drive to say the least.
Finally we arrived back in Victoria after a long day of exploring, adventuring and sharing (the car that is). We needed to put gas in the car, but unlike Modo – which asks for a minimum of only 25% – the Victoria Car Share asks for a minimum of 50% fuel be left in each vehicle.
Oh my, between this and the paper trip log it made an eventful ending to our trip. Of course we had to pay for gas ourselves and staple the receipt to the trip log, which meant finding a stapler. Since I have only been a Modo member since the fobs have existed, I have never used a paper trip log and let me tell you, if I had to do this every single time I wouldn’t be as keen on carsharing as I am now. The simplicity of NOT having to record every detail is a great feature of Modo. Thank you to whoever came up with that idea!
I have attached a photo for those of you who haven’t ever seen what a trip log looks like.
The Victoria Car Share also includes a small plastic box in every car which includes a paper map of the Greater Victoria Area (as seen in the photo), extra trip log booklets, pens, a mini dust pan and many other goodies to make your trip complete… other than a stapler…
All in all, I cannot thank the Modo team and members enough for allowing us to be able to have access to carsharing not only in our city but also in cities around the world.
Modo member since 2012
Thanks for this awesome report about your carsharing experience with the Victoria Car Share, Tommy!