OGO Car Share Co-op is a social enterprise that launched in 2013 that gives Okanagan drivers a more affordable and environmentally responsible transportation option.
Take a look at what Executive Director Christian Brandt had to say about his motivation to start OGO Car Share and what he has in store for the future.
Name of Company: OGO Car Share Co-op
Type of Organization: Community Service Co-op
Headquarters: Kelowna, BC
Number of Employees: 1.2
Year Founded: 2013
The Problem: When I moved to Kelowna I didn’t want to own a car or to buy one—I wanted to get around with other means, and a good solution wasn’t there. North American cities are highly car dependent, which creates environmental problems and social inclusion problems. The motivation behind starting OGO Car Share was wanting to work in the sustainability sector, and a clear need for a tool to get people out of their vehicles and using other modes of transportation.
The Solution: OGO Car Share provides access to a fleet of vehicles located in different neighbourhoods in Kelowna, without the hassle and costs of ownership. It is an economically beneficial and environmentally responsible transportation option that helps to create healthier communities. OGO started as a grassroots project, and when we started we didn’t know whether it would be successful—making car sharing work in a small sized community is not as easy as making it happen in a denser city. We had to be creative with how to create strategic partnerships to make this possible.
Accomplishments: One of our biggest accomplishments to date is our partnership with the City of Kelowna and how we were able to leverage that to help grow our fleet. With the City of Kelowna we found a strong and really progressive partner. When we talk to other car share co-ops they find it fascinating how we managed to get that kind of partnership established. We were lucky that we had the right people in the city that were supportive and solution-oriented. What we were doing was also aligned with their plans—we provided a solution that they were looking for to reduce their environmental impact and reduce the need for independent car ownership.
Next Steps: Our next step is continued growth. Eventually working towards growing our fleet, looking at new neighbourhoods that we can expand to, and looking for partnerships with developers that can bring cars to their developments. We’re also looking at organizations where we can add value to their transportation mix and meet their transportation needs in a less conventional way than how they’ve done it previously. The focus is on getting more members signed up and getting partnerships established to help with efficiency.
There is so much growth potential, not just in Kelowna, but to expand car sharing into other areas of the Okanagan Valley. We know how car sharing works and have systems in place, now the next phase is to scale it.