A B.C. car-sharing company now boasts a wheelchair accessible van in its Greater Victoria fleet.
On Feb. 5, Modo announced that the barrier-free mobility van is ready to be reserved. The van is the first shared accessible vehicle in the region and the second in the company’s province-wide fleet – the first van debuted in Vancouver in 2013.
The new van, a 2019 Dodge Accessibility Van, is based at the Community Living Victoria office on Cedar Hill Cross Road in Saanich.
Ellen Tarshis, executive director of Community Living Victoria which provides support to people with intellectual disabilities, said the foundation is happy to have the vehicle based in their parking lot.
“Adding a wheelchair accessible vehicle will make a huge difference to so many people in our community,” she said.
The van can carry up to five passengers including a wheelchair user and comes equipped with a folding ramp, rear entrance and floor straps to anchor any type of wheelchair.
“For many, getting there can be half the fun but for those living with mobility challenges, getting places is often half the battle,” said Modo spokesperson Selena McLachlan in a statement.
She said the company’s goal is to provide people with a convenient, sustainable and affordable ways to get around their city.
Bert Abbott, peer program manager with Spinal Cord Injury BC, said that the cost associated with accessible vehicles prohibits many individuals from buying their own, making the option to share one with the community desirable.
Modo’s model is “a great way to give people more access to their community and freedom in their lives,” Abbott said.
Modo was started in 1997 and remains member-owned. The company provides 22,000 members from across Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan access to 700 vehicles. Members join the co-operative by purchasing a share or paying a monthly fee. Members then receive a key-fob for access and can simply book a vehicle online or by phone.
Anyone interested in using Modo’s Saanich-based accessibility vehicle can visit modo.coop.