IGO CarSharing to Pilot A Carsharing Peer-to-Peer Program
IGO CarSharing, CNT’s affiliate, has received a grant of over $700,000 from the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration as part of its Value Pricing Pilot Grant Program. IGO will use the funds to pilot a peer-to-peer carsharing program in connection with its existing carsharing service. The pilot will be conducted in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center.
Under a peer-to-peer carsharing model, individual car owners make their private cars available for a fee to others when they are not otherwise being used. Members who utilize the shared vehicles pay a fee by the hour or the day.
“Over the past ten years, IGO has been able to significantly improve the quality of life for residents of the Chicago area through traditional carsharing. Adding a peer-to-peer program will allow us to ramp up carsharing—and its many benefits—to the scale necessary to better address the issues that threaten urban livability, sustainability and air quality,” said IGO CEO, Sharon Feigon.
UIC’s Urban Transportation Center will assist IGO in developing pricing for the service and evaluating the pilot once implemented. “This is a very exciting and groundbreaking project which could help to substantially expand carsharing in the Chicago region resulting in substantial cost savings to the public, increased use of transit, and spinoff environmental benefits,” said Steve Schlickman, Executive Director of UIC’s Urban Transportation Center.
It is expected that peer-to-peer carsharing will have the same benefits of IGO’s existing carsharing program but on a larger scale. Since CNT launched IGO as a pilot program ten years ago, the operation use of IGO’s services by members has resulted in over 9,000 vehicles being removed from Chicago-area roads. Additionally, IGO members save over $3,500 annually in transportation costs and report that they increase their walking and bicycling by 27% and 17%, respectively. Environmental benefits of IGO’s traditional carsharing operation include an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of over 45,000 metric tons.