Point-to-Point Car Share Enters Chicago Market
Chicago will finally get point-to-point car sharing this summer. While the car2go service has existed for some time in other cities in the United States and around the world, introduction of the service to the city has been slowed by those worried about parking and the city's parking meter contract. "Point-to-point allows members to check out a vehicle and end their trip at any legal curbside parking space, which makes it handy for errands and traveling the first or last mile to or from a transit station," John Greenfield explains.
The car2go pilot was initially planned to serve most of the city, but local officials cut back its services space. "A backlash from local car owners and their aldermen who feared that the service would gobble up parking spaces for private vehicles also put a crimp in the plans to test car2go in Chicago," Greenfield writes. Walter Burnett, a South Side alderman, noted that the service is hampered by its small service area which excludes his ward and many other majority black and latino wards, but hoped that a successful trial would lead extensions of the service farther into the south and west.
"Car2go will be deploying 400 vehicles during the Chicago pilot, including roughly 200 Smart cars, 120 sedans, and 80 SUVs," Greenfield writes. If the eight-month trial period gets a warm response, the city may allow the service to expand.