Evo Car Share made 250 vehicles available free of charge, starting in late March — currently all are in use or being assigned
For some health-care workers in British Columbia, getting safely to work, while maintaining a safe distance, has gotten easier.
Since late March, Evo Car Share, a company owned by the British Columbia Automobile Association, has been loaning its vehicles — free of charge — to health-care workers.
In all, Evo has made 250 vehicles available. Currently, all are either in use or in the process of being assigned to workers.
“Everyone’s doing their best to meet their mobility needs, but the reality is there are challenges, such as reduced transit services, which can make it harder for frontline workers, particularly shift workers, to find reliable transport,” says Tai Silvey, BCAA’s vice-president of Evo Car Share in an e-mail to Electric Autonomy Canada.
“We looked at where the greatest immediate need is and how we could make the most impact and that led us to health-care workers.”
Other drivers staying home
With car-share services deemed an essential service in B.C. during the COVID-19 crisis, Silvey said Evo asked its members to stay home, unless travel was necessary. This left many of their vehicles open for use.
“When we saw lower Evo use, we thought, ‘That’s great, people are listening.’ We also thought, ‘Can we do something with some of these cars to help people?’,” he says. “We’d heard that health-care workers were looking for safe, reliable transport during this crisis, so it made sense to lend them some Evos for a while.”
As part of the program, BCAA and Evo partnered with several local health authorities to determine need, loaning the cleaned and sanitized vehicles for 30 days. Since launch, the program has been extended to May 31; workers get use of the car for a full 30 days, even if they start later in the period.
Silvey said Evo chose 250 vehicles to meet the most “pressing” needs for health-care workers, but a lengthier loan period and more cars can still be added, if needed.
A “joy” to work on
For BCAA and Evo staff, Silvey says the program has been a “joy” to work on and feedback from users has been positive.
“[Health-care workers] have enough on their plates; they shouldn’t have to worry about how to get around safely,” he says. “It feels like the least we can do.”