Evergreen spurs car sharing in the Tri-Cities

Modo increases its fleet near Evergreen Extension stations, Evo keeping an eye on the market

Tri-City residents have more ways to get around without having to own a car thanks to the opening of the Evergreen Extension.

The car-sharing coop Modo has doubled its fleet to 16 cars along the Evergreen Extension route in the Tri-Cities in recent weeks and American-owned Zipcar has two cars stationed in Town Centre, with more planned.

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Modo marketing director Selena McLachlan said with Evergreen's opening today, people have more options for getting around and, if they can get rid of a car, can book a Modo vehicle for specific trips, such as shopping our visiting.

"Our strategy has always been to expand along public transit and important transit lines because when there is a strong, viable transit option, then people will start to change their driving behaviours," she told The Tri-City News.

Zipcar is also providing car sharing opportunities in the Tri-Cities, with cars located near Glen Drive and Pacific Street within walking distance of the Lincoln and Lafarge Lake-Douglas stations.

The region's third car sharing service, Evo, which is owned by the BC Automobile Association, is not yet ready to make a move into the Tri-Cities but is keeping an eye on the region, says Tai Silvey, director of car share.

The company, which has 1,000 cars in Vancouver and a few hubs at some post-secondary institutions, needs to have a lot of users in an area because the cars can be dropped off and picked up anywhere, not at specific locations, as with Modo and Zipcar.

"The idea [of one-way car sharing] is there are no restrictions where you pick up or drop off — it's on demand and ultra convenient," Silvey said, but "you need enough people in a geographic area so those cars can constantly move around."

Still the Tri-Cities may be a good market for Evo in the future because higher density follows rapid transit.

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