Archive for the ‘car sharing’ Category

I-GO nominated in Chicago Innovation Awards

August 20, 2009

I-GO Car Sharing, for the second consecutive year, has been nominated in the annual Chicago Innovation Awards.

Want the lowdown on the accolade? From their site:

Established in 2002, the Chicago Innovation Awards shine a bright light on the creative spirit of Chicago by focusing attention on the most significant new products and services introduced in the region. The ten winners each year are innovations that uniquely fill unmet needs, spark a competitive response in the marketplace, exceed market expectations, achieve financial success, and improve people’s lives. They emerge from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Most importantly, the Chicago Innovation Awards remind is that innovation is thriving in America’s heartland.

There are 75 nominees covering a wide array of innovators—big and small, public and private. Sifting through the list is an eye-opener: It’s encouraging to see how many enterprising innovators are on the cusp of great ideas in Chicago. Eat your tech-nerd heart out, Silicon Valley.

Best of all: You can vote for I-GO to win! Not that we’d twist your arm on the way to the virtual ballot box. But, c’mon, our particular take on car sharing—partnering with mass transit; extending alternative, sustainable transportation to ALL neighborhoods; only using low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles (including dozens of hybrids and two bona fide plug-ins)—is worth a spot atop the podium, eh?

I-GO adds Honda Insights to fleet

August 6, 2009

I-GO just added four brand-new Honda Insights to the fleet. Pictured here: the Insight at 2350 N. Racine (at Fullerton). Took it out for a bit today. Really nice ride. Sooo clean. (Let’s keep it that way!) Liked the “Eco Assist” button function, which lets you tweak the electric-to-gas ratio even more. This car sits next to a Prius and guess what? I couldn’t tell the diff until I got within five feet.

I-GO at the Chicago Criterium

July 29, 2009

I-GO provided the only two pace/SAG (support and gear) cars in the Chicago Criterium bike race this past Sunday, July 26. What a spectacle this race is! For those who missed it, it’s an annual event in Grant Park, so you’ll get another chance next year.

I-GO partners with Chicago Park District on car sharing

July 23, 2009

I-GO Car Sharing and the Chicago Park District have partnered to bring car-sharing vehicles to Chicago parks around town.

Check out this sweet video the Park District produced on the program. Thanks, CPD!

Green Dream Group goes 100% I-GO

July 23, 2009

One of I-GO’s hippest business members, home energy auditors Green Dream Group (we wrote about them in our May newsletter), called to say they’re going entirely with I-GO cars for their client calls.

Reason: Car sharing complements their business model and mission and, they say, impresses clients when one of their tech team members makes a house call.

We say: You rock, Green Dream Group! Thanks for the support!

Check out this vid clip to learn more about how this young, entrepreneurial, local firm can save you big-time on home energy costs:

I-GO begins suburban expansion

July 14, 2009

We have officially kicked off our suburban expansion program with the addition of two new cars in Oak Park and Evanston. We also added two new cars in Chicago: one in Streeterville and one in Pilsen. Three of these four cars are brand spankin’ new 2010 Honda Insights. Haven’t seen one yet? Make sure to check it out!

Evanston: 1800 Maple Ave
2010 Red Honda Insight; Car #4427

Are these convenient locations for you? Post below and make your opinion heard!

Stay on the lookout for more I-GO cars in Skokie, Oak Park, and Evanston as we continue the first phase of suburban expansion.

I-GO at 2009 Chicago Pride Parade

July 14, 2009

When do diversity, equality, and conscientious green mobility go together? When I-GO Car Sharing dives headlong into the Chicago Pride Parade festivities. We rode in the parade (once again) and handed out (once again) T-shirts reading “I-GO for Guys” and “I-GO for Girls.” Whatever your speed or inclination, all agreed: Unity ruled the day.

Check out a vid we shot of the day’s upbeat action:

Twin Cities-to-Chicago car sharing connection

June 25, 2009

Here’s a nice little plug for I-GO by a transplanted-Chicagoan blogging in Minneapolis. Maybe she can avail herself of Hour Car, a St. Paul-based car-sharing service that’s remarkably similar to I-GO’s business model. They were also launched by a non-profit green org, Neighborhood Energy Connections, that, like I-GO’s parent org Center for Neighborhood Technology (man, even the names sound alike), is invested in energy conservation initiatives and policy work.

One of Hour Car’s staff stopped by our Wicker Park office this week since he was visiting Chicago. Smart guy. They’ve got two full-time staffers and are growing their biz and fleet steadily. They’re also focused on low-emission vehicles.

Hour Car publishes a blog, too, and posted an item on I-GO yesterday.

Thanks, Hour Car compatriots.

And FYI to all I-GO members: If you’re visiting the Twin Cities, you can use Hour Car’s fleet without having to pay a membership sign-up fee. That benefit also applies to our non-profit car-sharing sister companies in Philadelphia (PhillyCarShare) and San Francisco (City CarShare).

Tell ’em I-GO sent you.

Car Free Chicago

June 21, 2009

I recently discovered a helpful new website- Carfree Chicago is a community-built resource that aims to take the guess work out of carfree living while promoting responsible transportation choices. The site is structured as a community blog; it is written by carfree Chicagoans for other carfree Chicagoans.

It’s a great site for the both the carfree and for drivers who drive out of necessity but prefer not to when possible. The site is a great resouce that covers such topics as alternative transit options (car sharing, bikes, Amtrak, Metra, Pace, etc…), carfree excursions, how to deal with going carfree with a family or when grocery shopping and many other relevant topics related to carfree living. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Chicago’s I-GO Car Sharing reviewed in Wall Street Journal

June 11, 2009

The Wall Street Journal‘s “Cranky Consumer” columnist reviewed four car sharing companies in today’s paper. The column is a Consumer Reports-type deal that makes apples-to-apples comparisons, hopefully enabling consumers to make better choices. I-GO Car Sharing was the only local, nonprofit service included; the others are Zipcar, Connect by Hertz (the rental car company recently launched a car-sharing service in select markets), and Mint, a recent start-up based in New York.

We’re happy to report that, with the exception of a half-eaten French fry left on the floor by the member who had our car before the reporter’s reservation, I-GO came out smelling more or less like roses.

The Zipcar was “filthy,” apparently, and while we’re inclined to gloat, it must be said that all car-sharing companies can commiserate with that. We all have cleaning services. I-GO’s cleaning service is the ultra-green-friendly WashMe-EnviGreen, a Matteson-based progressive service run by dynamic entrepreneur Tanya Killian. Every car in our fleet is cleaned like clock-work, inside and out, at least every two weeks. But in a national culture that’s so used to service-oriented business models that don’t necessitate customer responsibility, it’s easy to point a finger at us—or the other companies reviewed in this piece—and not realize that a communal business model is at work here.

We’ve got 12,000 members. And we love ’em all. We just launched a new mobile reservations site that’s the latest, greatest member benefit at I-GO. But we need members to alert us to dirty cars, too, so that we can pinpoint recurring problems and address the situation with members whose trash is the next person’s annoyance. It’s not like we want our members to be ratting each other out, but, well, that’s sort of the nature of the beast when you’ve got 12,000 people sharing 200 vehicles. We do our best to keep up with the cleaning, but we absolutely need to function as a community that works together for the betterment of the whole.