Summer is here! It’s the time when we’re out enjoying the beautiful weather, hitting local events, plus catching up with family and friends. Turns out summer also is when most people contemplate their next car purchase, and at $6000 - $9000 per year, we want to help you to ease your transportation squeeze by reconsidering that purchase (if you can).
Gen Squeeze continues to build out our benefits program to ease your day to day squeeze (think seniors' discounts but for young people) and we're proud to announce a series of partnerships across the country to specifically ease your transportation squeeze (and help the environment, too)!
As one tool in your transportation belt, car sharing is a simple and affordable way to access the occasional use of a car, by having like-minded people sharing the cost of car ownership. And when paired with other forms of transportation such as biking and public transit it can make for some substantial savings to your squeezed budget.
To help us understand the ups and downs of changing transportation habits we’ve found a volunteer for a “Transportation Makeover.”
For the month of June, Aaron Cowie, who’s both a Squeezer and a Vancity Employee, will park his car and try taking alternative transportation to and from work.
To help him on his journey, we’ve provided him with driving credits from Modo, transit passes from Translink and a bike from Share Shed. He’ll be reporting back regularly, but first let’s hear why he wanted to be our guinea pig.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what excites you about Gen Squeeze?
What I like about Generation Squeeze is that it aims to provide a political and social force to try and push back against the systemic forces that impact my specific age group. As an Account manager at Vancity Credit union, I quite often see people struggling to apply for financing to buy in Vancouver. Even when people are given their down payment from family, income has not kept up with the housing market and has caused many to lose hope. I believe that movements like this are very important to keep that hope alive.
Transportation is also a squeeze for many, what made you want to participate in this Transportation Makeover?
With rising costs of insurance and day to day costs like parking, it is getting harder and harder to afford many types of transportation. Not to mention the rising environmental costs worldwide of pollution from highly polluting vehicles. I had been thinking of alternatives to driving to work for some time now. My brother has begun biking to work and has had some feedback that made me want to explore the options further. If it saves me more money to afford to live in this city and help the environment at the same time then why wouldn’t I at least explore the options?
When we met, you said you’d never used a car share before. Why not?
Car share was actually not very well known when I started driving. Since I have owned the same car for over 10 years a lot has changed in this city in terms of alternate forms of transportation. Back when I started driving there were less bus and train services and no car share programs in use in the city. Now I am at a point in my life where the alternatives have begun to make as much or more sense than my current situation.
So what was it like signing up to use Modo? What surprised you?
It was relatively simple to sign up for Modo. The site is very easy to manage and has FAQ right on the side while you sign up to help you along the way. Upon logging in on the App I noticed a lot of information and a number of vehicles close to my work at home. Modo was quick to send me the fob for use immediately. The service was exceptional and contact people were very easy to deal with.
Have you tried car sharing as part of your transportation mix? If so, what was your experience? Pros, cons?