Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Zipcars and I-Go racist?

Zipcars and I-Go have a system where residents can essentially "rent a car" for a day or even a few hours.

It helps the environment by not adding unnecessary cars, and saves people money by not having to maintain a vehicle (and insurance for days they aren't driving), as well as parking spaces, which in some parts of our neighborhood would be helpful.

Did you know that both companies have zip (as in zero) cars south of the 90-94 split, and east of I-57? I posted an entry on HR Block's "Best of Both Worlds", which this year, in practice was perceptually racist. Seems like a similar thing here, where the cars seem concentrated in white areas of the city.

While there are certainly some areas they should avoid, there are areas that are safer than the North Side where they have several locations! For example, my block is 4 times safer than where i used to live in Uptown!

Is there anyone out there that wants to advocate for Zipcars or I-Go?

Some potential areas include the parking lot near 87th & the Dan Ryan (many people park there anyway, to go to the El), Walgreen's at 75th & the Dan Ryan (it's fairly active, open 24 hours, and seems fairly safe)

Check the locations for Zipcars and I-Go, and let us know what you think.

Any other ideas for locations? Anyone else interested in participating?

Note: Levois wrote about this over 1 1/2 years ago, with a comment posted from I-Go
Hey there-
I handle marketing and communications for I-GO; a coworker of mine just flagged this post for me. As a matter of fact, we do maintain a car in your area, in the South Shore neighborhood, at 1809 E. 71st St. At present, it happens to be a Toyota Scion xB five-door station wagon. You can find out more about membership in I-GO and how to reserve that car (as well as any of the vehicles in our 200-car citywide fleet) by calling us at 773-278-4446 or going to our website at It's $75 to join ($25 for a credit and license check; $50 for initiation fee; $25 annually to renew), and most of our members reserve cars on a short-term hourly basis (although we do offer day rates as well that are competitive with rental agencies). (The hourly rates vary, but average around $8 or so.) I-GO pays for the gas, insurance, reserved parking, and maintenance. Our entire fleet is low-emission vehicles; about half of those are hybrids. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and urban congestion is a big part of our mission. Currently, we're in more than 30 neighborhoods in Chicago, Oak Park, and Evanston, and we've got just over 10,000 members -- a number that's been rapidly growing, in large part due to the ongoing energy crisis and rising cost of gas. The average car sharing customer saves thousands of dollars by giving up their car or by making a car-share vehicle their family's second car option. Check us out!

Craig Keller,
It's been over 18 months, and still nothing south of the I-90-94 split! There ar eplenty of places to house them, most notably the malls at 87th & the Dan Ryan, but also elsewhere in the community.

Maybe i-Go and/or Zipcar can sponsor a table at the 6th ward picnic this summer, and take some surveys as to where a truly local placement could be made.

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