Modo: Partner Spotlight

At Shelter Movers, we believe in the power of gathering together to support fellow community members who need help. For us, what that means in practice is helping women and their children move out of abusive homes at no cost. The moves we conduct require a lot of planning, specific materials, labour, and, importantly, means of transportation. Our partnership with Modo, a company that Shelter Movers Vancouver has been working with since 2018, is a key part of this process.

Modo is a car-sharing cooperative based in Vancouver, with a fleet of 700+ vehicles shared by over 20,000 members across the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Squamish and the Okanagan. At first, it seemed like it might simply be a partnership of convenience. Of course, purchasing our own vehicles would be a significant financial undertaking – but that was not the only reason. Discretion is very important to ensuring safety in the work we do, and clothing or vehicles with Shelter Movers branding are never used on moves. Modo allows us to have an extra level of confidentiality since vehicles are not traceable to individual volunteers.

Modo & The Community

Joining Modo as a Business Member was a flexible, cost-effective, and discrete way to accomplish moves. A Modo cargo van can be used on its own to complete smaller moves, or a Modo vehicle may be used as additional transport for volunteers and clients on larger moves that also require trucks.

However, as we learned more about Modo and their goals of societal betterment through mental health, greener living and sustainable transportation programs, our partnership with them began to feel more meaningful. Being a cooperative means that Modo is run by the people (not profit) who use the round-trip carsharing service, that is to say, members of the local communities in their regions.

“Concern for the community is central to Modo’s purpose and the partners we align with. We prioritize ‘people before profit’. Unlike most corporations, we are driven by the needs of our members, not the short-term financial pressures of shareholders. This allows us to make the best decisions possible in the long run, for the community. It means we can walk the talk when it comes to realizing our core purpose, which includes launching “break-even” programs like the Essential Transportation Plan; which offered greatly reduced rates for essential workers and non-profits, as well as small businesses pivoting their operations.”

Modo’s care for the community is admirable, and something we can certainly relate to here at Shelter Movers. In their recent International Women’s Day blog, Modo featured Shelter Movers alongside several other local nonprofits geared towards supporting women in need. The carsharing cooperative also has impressive environmental initiatives, as Kilburn explains, “Our main goal is to reduce vehicles on our roads – which may sound odd at first for a carshare with 700+ vehicles. But when you look closer at the research, for each Modo 10-13 privately owned vehicles are removed from our roads freeing up parking spaces and valuable land, as well as reducing emissions. Many of our members shed a vehicle (or their second vehicle) after becoming members. We live in a region where carsharing, walking, cycling and transit can go hand-in-hand.”

The recent internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion journey that Modo has undertaken is another example of the cooperative’s ability to “walk the talk”. Check out the video below to hear about their DEI journey and their desire to create inclusive spaces:

Shelter Movers is grateful for everything our partnership with Modo has allowed us to accomplish, and proud to work closely with a progressive organization with the common goal of supporting our shared Vancouver community.

New Member Promo for British Columbians: Join Modo with the promo code SHELTERMOVERS to get $50 free drive time when joining as a new member at!

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