Chicago-based I-GO CarSharing received a grant of $700,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration to go toward the company’s Value Pricing Pilot Grant Program.
Under the peer-to-peer car sharing pilot program, individual car owners will be able to make their private cars available for a fee to others when they are not being used. Members who utilize the shared vehicles will pay a fee by the hour or day.
I-GO will implement and study various models of peer-to-peer car sharing including solutions for low-density areas that are difficult to operate car sharing. I-GO will also study financial benefits to participants and its effectiveness in reducing congestion and increasing air quality.
The company expects the pilot program to produce the same benefits of I-GO’s existing car sharing program but on a larger scale. I-GO’s current service has removed more than 9,000 vehicles from Chicago-area roads. Additionally, I-GO members save $3,500 annually in transportation costs.
The pilot will be conducted in partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center. UIC’s Urban Transportation Center will assist I-GO in developing pricing for the service and evaluating the pilot once implemented.
“Over the past ten years, I-GO has been able to significantly improve the quality of life for residents of the Chicago area through traditional car sharing. Adding a peer-to-peer program will allow us to ramp up car sharing — and its many benefits — to the scale necessary to better address the issues that threaten urban livability, sustainability and air quality,” said I-GO CEO Sharon Feigon.