Burnaby non-profit partners with car-sharing service to provide seniors rides

A Burnaby, B.C. non-profit agency is making it easier for senior citizens to get out and about by partnering with a car-sharing company.

Burnaby Community Services has teamed up with car-sharing company, Modo, as part of the Seniors on the Move regional program.

Stephen D'Souza, with Burnaby Community Services, says seniors often have a hard time getting out.

"We're looking at a population of seniors struggling to get out into the community which can be [for] reasons from mobility to affordability and lack of sidewalks in some places," he said.

"It's really important to their health and well-being to connect with people that care about them."

D'Souza said their group is focused on seniors who are over 75 years old, low income, have disabilities or speak English as a second language.

His non-profit already has a number of volunteer drivers — mainly new retirees who are available during the week to take seniors out.

However, D'Souza says volunteers might not have their own vehicles or their existing vehicles might not be suitable for a senior with a mobility issue.

"There can be a lot of challenges with individuals using their own cars and that's where Modo came in. They provide a range of vehicles that our drivers are able to use and they have liability coverage so we don't have to worry about insurance."

Volunteers can now drive Modo car-share vehicles through the non-profit's business acount at no cost. 

Since the partnership is new, D'Souza says they are trying to build up their volunteer base so they can increase capacity to drive seniors.

Interested volunteers and seniors looking for the service can refer to the Burnaby Community Services website or call 604-299-5778.

"Seniors are just happy to be out and they're looking for any opportunity to connect," he said.

With files from The Early Edition