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Meet Modo’s new Board Director Laura Beattie

Laura joined our Board of Directors at Modo’s AGM in April 2019. She is the Project Manager at Vancouver’s local bike share Mobi by Shaw go. We asked Laura some questions on her decision to run for the Modo Board, her Modo story and how bike sharing and carsharing complement each other!

Why Modo?

For me, choosing Modo is a no-brainer. I first joined Modo in 2015 when I moved to Vancouver and have been proud to support the co-op ever since. Modo has played an important role in helping me to live happily without owning a vehicle. The carshare gives me freedom, choice, and peace of mind so that I know I can forgo car ownership and still run errands, pick up family members from the airport, move furniture, or whatever else the day may hold.

I grew up learning to love and respect the natural environment so Modo’s dedication to reducing the environmental footprint of its members aligns with my values. Modo is values-driven – just like me – so I want to see it continue to grow and succeed.

What makes Modo affordable, convenient, inclusive and sustainable in your eyes and where do you see potential for change and growth?

Modo lives and breathes these values, as a carshare that is trying to encourage alternative modes of transportation and reduce vehicle dependency. To go even further, Modo offers environmentally friendly vehicles such as hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the new hydrogen vehicles.

Modo is inclusive through its ability to connect people with places. It’s clear to me through its members, staff, ambassadors and partnerships, that inclusivity and community are important. One of my favourite recent announcements is the “new” Pollination Program which allows members to transport and share their bees with the Bee Mobile [Read our April Fools story…].

Affordability is important and vehicle ownership is expensive! Cars are generally not great investments with the depreciation they experience combined with cost of gas, maintenance and insurance. For someone who doesn’t need to drive all the time, it just makes economic sense to pay for the driving that is actually done rather than to leave a vehicle sitting unused in a parking spot.

And of course, convenience. What could be more convenient that having access to over 700 vehicles in a range of types, sizes, and even colour? With so many cars in so many places, Modo definitely checks that box.

Overall, Modo does an impressive job in achieving its social purpose and continues to grow its impact day after day as it improves existing initiatives and embarks on new ones.

What are you most excited about, looking at your new responsibilities on the Modo Board?

Being on the Modo Board of Directors gets me excited in so many ways. I’m particularly excited to be involved with an organization that is positively impacting so many people and reducing the environmental footprint of its members. Modo’s social purpose of being affordable, inclusive, convenient, and sustainable strongly resonates with me and I look forward to encouraging initiatives which work towards these goals.

I’m excited to learn more about Modo and to apply my knowledge and experience in sustainable transportation and shared-mobility. Through my work at a non-profit co-op carshare in Ontario and Vancouver’s public bike share, Mobi by Shaw Go, I’ve gained much experience with the operational side of transportation and am interested in now supporting this organization’s strategic direction.

As part of my duties I’ve joined the Governance Committee where we will create and revise policies. I think that some people might find this work to be dry, but I love developing and reading a well-written and thought-out policy that has been formatted in a clear way.

What was your most memorable Modo trip?

My most memorable Modo trip was during a bachelorette party to Manning Park in 2017. Our group of ladies was looking for a larger vehicle which could fit all six of us as well as food, kitchen supplies, outdoor equipment, and fun things for the weekend. I quickly informed everyone of Modo and volunteered my driving services – there was even a suitable vehicle right outside my then-apartment in Kits.

The day came when I picked up the car and started collecting each of the girls for our fun adventure and even with all of our bodies and all of our items, everything fit in the vehicle. Everyone was so impressed and Modo gained some new fans that day.

Working at Mobi Shaw Go, you’re an expert on bike sharing – how do bike and carsharing go together?

Bike sharing and carsharing are a natural fit. They each cater to different types of trips and together, can help people live enjoyable multi-modal lives. When living without a car (or trying to reduce vehicle ownership) people benefit from having a variety of mobility options to meet all of their different needs. Each mode acts as an important part of the puzzle. Trips need to be made so there’s an opportunity to fill those trips with modes which are faster, cheaper, better for the environment, more social, more fun, or a range of other qualities which vary per person and per situation.

By combining one-way bike share with two-way carshare, a world of possibilities is opened up. One of my favourite examples is taking bike share to work to enjoy the beautiful weather and wake up with some exercise but then, when the work day calls for an offsite meeting, hop in a Modo that was casually booked two weeks prior when the meeting invite went out. After returning from the meeting, go on with your work day, and eventually head home by way of whichever mode you choose. Another example would be using bike share to travel to the carshare vehicle that is just a bit too far to walk. Or maybe you’re eager to start your vehicle booking and want to get there faster. Bike share and carshare alone provide convenience and reliability; together, the options are endless.

Laura and Modo’s Selena McLachlan at a HUB Bike to Work Week celebration station


Modo Co-operative
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