The Vancouver School Board launched a car-sharing program Thursday, which gives staff at the board's Broadway office who sign up access to a vehicle for business trips. A 2012 hybrid car, owned by the car co-op Modo, will be parked in the school board office's parkade during work hours.
Kirthi Roberts, the district's manager of energy and climate action, said the program is an initiative of the VSB's sustainability office and part of the district's overall plan to become a more sustainable organization and school district.
The car-sharing program, he said, allows employees to take business trips in fuel-efficient vehicles, which will reduce their carbon footprint for travel. "Some employees have already indicated that they will leave their personal cars at home as they now have an alternative vehicle for business travel," Roberts told the Courier in an email. "This will reduce their personal vehicle insurance costs and vehicular emissions-greenhouse gas and other air pollutant emissions- from their travel to and from work."
Modo owns the vehicle and the co-operative provides regular maintenance and insurance for its fleet.
"This eliminates the total cost of ownership for VSB and we only get invoiced depending on our usage," Roberts said. "Other residents in the neighbourhood will also have access to this vehicle after office hours."
While staff have access to one carsharing vehicle in the parkade, they also have access to a number of other cars parked near the district's office.
If demand grows, Roberts said the VSB could increase the number of carsharing vehicles in its parking lot.
He believes the VSB might be the first school district to sign up for carsharing.
The City of Vancouver has had a
car-sharing program through Modo for about three years, which allows staff to use any of Modo's approximately 500 public car-share vehicles at a business rate for work purposes. Staff share these cars with the rest of the Modo membership, use them during regular business hours and book them in the same way other members do, according to the city's communication department. Some of the vehicles are located at city hall and there are a few in the neighbourhood around city hall. Staff also have access to other Modo cars around the city.