Archive for the ‘car sharing’ Category

Public getting another kick in the gas

June 9, 2009

The analysts can’t agree on the cause, but here’s an ugly fact: Americans are now pumping out a billion bucks a day to refuel their cars according to an article today in the New York Times.

All the more reason to choose car sharing as your go-to transportation option—especially in Illinois, where the price tags at the pump are among the highest in the nation.

Automotively speaking, sometimes all you can do is cry about it—over a slice of the Onion:

Autoworkers Compete to Keep Jobs, Livelihoods on New Reality Show

I-GO Car Sharing launches mobile reservations site

June 8, 2009

I-GO has always been about mobile convenience. But now we’re really on the move.

Smartphone fans, take a deep breath, tilt your touch screens and flex those thumbs: I-GO now has an online reservation site configured for iPhone, BlackBerry, and other web-enabled mobile devices.

Bookmark it, baby:

Keep in mind it’s designed for phones, not your desktop monitor, though you can get a basic idea of its functions on the latter. (It just won’t look half as cool.) iPhone users can also try out a desktop demo here.

Sweet, huh? We’re calling it “I-GO on the go.”

Now it’s exceptionally easy to log in to your online account any time, anywhere. The mobile site is a distilled, highly intuitive version of our online reservation system, customized with larger search buttons and easy-to-read drop-down menus. Search for cars by date and time, location preferences, vehicle type, and amenities just as you would on your desktop computer.

Needless to say, grabbing an I-GO car in one of the 30-plus neighborhoods we serve is now literally in the palm of your hand.

The mobile site also makes the Chicago Card Plus/I-GO Card—I-GO’s joint smartcard initiative with CTA—that much more convenient. Reserve an I-GO car within seconds that’s located at or near an upcoming stop on a CTA rail line or bus route. Next stop: I-GO.

Please note: There is a $2.99 charge the first time I-GO members use the mobile site to make, extend, cancel, or release a reservation. This will help us offset the cost of building, maintaining, and adding future enhancements to to this special feature. The fee will appear on your next month’s invoice, and all further use of the mobile site is entirely free.

I-GO on the go. Now the city’s your car-sharing oyster.

I-GO Car Sharing now on Facebook and Twitter

May 20, 2009

Want to stay connected to all that’s going on here at I-GO Car Sharing? Join our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter! You’ll be the first to hear about new car locations, member benefit updates, event invites, calls for volunteers and a whole lot more!

Higher gas prices = More car sharing customers

May 14, 2009

We saw it last summer when gas prices soared into the stratosphere, and we may see it again: a huge increase in I-GO applicants attracted by one undeniably attractive benefit: Car sharing members don’t pay for gas. Ever.

Good piece in the Chicago Tribune yesterday analyzing the prospects for a repeat of last year’s rocketing fuel prices at the pump.

We’re not rooting for the oil robber barons of the world, mind you, or the speculators hoping to ride their coattails. But whatever the reasons, fossil fuels are environmentally disastrous no matter how you slice and dice their economic impact.

We say: Shed a car, share one instead.

Car sharing gets short end of stick shift on Today Show

May 14, 2009

A Today Show segment that aired today was originally pitched to I-GO as a wide-ranging piece on automotive cost-saving tactics—including, prominently, car sharing. But it morphed into something else: a piece on small, fuel-efficient cars, and how that represents a major psychological shift for Americans away from our beloved gas-guzzling muscle cars.

Stop the presses. There’s breaking news for you.

I think the Today Show’s NYC producers need to get out more. The shift to Priuses and other small, fuel-efficient and hybrid cars is old news. Though certainly we champion this trend, and hope it will continue. Car sharing: That’s a fresh, new story with real teeth.

I-GO gets a shot of a Prius in Logan Square and a sign. Bob and Kennon, the I-GO members who took the time to be interviewed, ended up on the cutting-room floor. Bet they’re bummed. Sorry, guys. Maybe the Today Show can reuse that footage in another piece. Not likely, but one can hope.

Last segment I saw before turning off the TV: Matt Lauer interviewing a 5-year-old chef making quesadillas.

Important stuff, folks.

Maybe next time we should come up with a kindergartner who fries Mexican food on the hood of an I-GO Honda Element.

Might just work.

Here’s the vid clip:

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City of Winnipeg requires car sharing program added to condo development

May 5, 2009

Car Sharing has become the key to success for a condo development currently under way in Winnipeg, Canada. In fact, the City of Winnipeg is insisting that Stonebridge Development Corp. Ltd. incorporate a car sharing program into the development, something that has never before been required in Winnipeg, and Stonebridge Development has agreed.

Michael Robinson, a senior city planner, has said that if this car sharing proposal is successful, more will likely follow. Robinson also noted that the incorporation of car sharing programs into condo developments has already happened in Vancouver, Canada and Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s clear to see which side of the fence the city of Winnipeg falls on in regards to the growing debate on owning vs. sharing a vehicle! Hopefully, this will soon become the trend rather than an exception.

Sharing vs. Owning: The effects of car sharing

May 4, 2009

Ian Sacs, of Planetizen, recently reported on the effects of car sharing versus car ownership, and what do you know: the outcomes all seem to have positive ramifications! According to Sacs, “Surveys of members, data from existing programs, and empirical evidence from several developments have shown that when a car share vehicle is available in a convenient location, and usually combined with transit access, a significant number of people make a decision that it is no longer necessary to own a car.” He goes on to conclude that the ratio of car sharing vehicles to households that voluntarily give up a personal car is roughly six to 23. However, Sacs is quick to note that as car sharing becomes more widespread, this ratio could double.

Moreover, adding car sharing vehicles to a development can significantly reduce demand for parking and, in turn, reduce construction costs. Although, Sacs also points out that simply “sprinkling car share vehicles nearby or even on-site is typically not enough to realize an appreciable reduction in private vehicle ownership. Rather, the developer must market car sharing as a feature” and include incentives to join—such as reduced membership costs, driving credits and so forth.

One of the less studied, yet equally important, effects of car sharing versus car ownership is the effect it has on the total number of trips a person takes each year. If you own your own car, the more you drive it, the more value you get out of it. Whereas when sharing a car, and paying per use, you are more likely to consider the true cost of taking a car versus public transportation, biking or walking.

While Sacs does not ignore the fact that car sharing is currently only found in, and seems to be most applicable in, urban areas, he does appear hopeful for expansion of the industry into suburban areas as well. To illustrate this point, he highlights the number of suburban families that own a second or third car that they rarely use and insists that adding a car sharing vehicle in these suburban areas may “significantly reduce the total number of vehicles needed in that community.”

Has the availability of car sharing in Chicago convinced you to ditch your wheels? To drive less? Let us know your car sharing experience!

SuperEco cites I-GO plug-ins

May 1, 2009

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it’s SuperEco, a green blog that breaks down complex environmental topics into bite-size user-friendly advice.

We appreciate SuperEco’s plug for I-GO’s plug-ins as part of a post on the benefits of car sharing. Lisa Poisso notes: “Chicago’s non-profit I-GO service even offers Prius electric hybrids.”

Yep, we do. I-GO’s Prius electric hybrids located at Millenium Park’s north garage and at 900 S. Clark St. in the South Loop, and on a full charge they’re more fuel-efficient than Ben Gordon lacing up another three-point shot over a leaping defender.

Hybrid electric plug-ins may represent the future of personal transportation. By combining that with a car-sharing organization model, it’s a win-win situation on many levels.

I-GO and Chicago Park District join forces on car sharing

April 29, 2009

I-GO Car Sharing and the Chicago Park District have partnered to bring four I-GO Car Sharing low-emission vehicles to four different park locations in the city. Beginning Friday, May 1, an I-GO car will be available at Horner Park, 2741 W. Montrose Ave. in Albany Park; Independence Park, 3945 N. Springfield Ave. in Old Irving Park; Margate Park, 4921 N. Marine Dr. in Uptown; and Ridge Park, 1817 W. 96th St. in Beverly. The cars herald a new relationship between I-GO and the CPD, with reserved parking spots generously provided by the latter.

“Car sharing makes a lot of sense for municipal agencies because it can reduce their fleet costs while providing a community benefit,” said Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-GO Car Sharing. “We are delighted to partner with the Park District so that Chicagoans can combine use of an I-GO vehicle with a visit to a park facility.”

The I-GO vehicles are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to any residents or Park District employees who become members of I-GO Car Sharing. They include: a silver Honda Fit (Horner Park); a red Toyota Prius hybrid (Independence Park); a silver Honda Civic hybrid (Margate Park); and a silver Toyota Scion xB (Ridge Park). I-GO members can search for these and any other I-GO car on I-GO’s website by address, neighborhood or vehicle type.

I-GO in the news

April 8, 2009

Just spotted a couple of nice little plugs for I-GO on the web: one piece in Northwestern University’s Medill Reports news wire on I-GO’s imminent new car locations in Beverly and Old Irving Park and another on the overall benefits of car sharing and our joint transit smart card with CTA in Chicago Green Lifestyle Examiner.