Archive for the ‘zipcar’ Category

Sun-Times compares I-GO & Zipcar

March 2, 2009

Chicago Sun-Times reporter Mary Wisniewski driving an I-GO Prius. Photo from Chicago Sun-Times.

Great piece in the Chicago Sun-Times today about car sharing in Chicago. I think transportation reporter Mary Wisniewski does a nice job comparing the city’s two main providers: I-GO Car Sharing and Zipcar. She doesn’t take sides, instead inferring it’s more of a lifestyle choice: Pay more for Zip, get more choices on types of cars (from green to glitzy); pay less for I-GO, get “less variety” (she cites I-GO’s all-green fleet in the article), access in more neighborhoods, and a warm, toasty glow in your heart about contributing toward a non-profit.

Okay, she didn’t really say warm, toasty thing.

And Wisniewski didn’t give much play to another benefit offered by I-GO over Zip: The new Chicago Card Plus/I-GO Card we created with CTA this year that lets you ride CTA trains, buses, PACE buses and access I-GO cars. We’re trying to link and expand public transit, make it more convenient to transfer from one mode to another, and reduce CO2 emissions by reducing car ownership and dependency.

That’s also part of our joint mission with our parent org, the Center for Neighborhood Technology. And it’s definitely something we offer that our competitor does not.

Although I’m not grinding any axes here. Obviously, I’d like to see I-GO succeed, but there is a huge amount of room in the Chicago market for car sharing providers to coexist peacefully. We’re all still in the initial stage of just spreading the word about car sharing, and explaining to the curious what the hell it is. What it is, is a very good thing, indeed. But just like all the green initiatives getting a big push these days, it’s going to take a major shift in the way we live and get around to truly effect a substantive change.