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I-GO to Roll Out Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing

Is your car lonely? Nonprofit's pilot program will add private vehicles to its car-sharing fleet.

Chances are, your vehicle spends most of its time parked in a driveway, lot or garage, making it one of the most expensive, most unused big-ticket items you'll ever buy.

Wouldn't it be great, then, to put that lonely vehicle to use and make a few bucks in the process?

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That's the idea behind I-GO's new peer-to-peer car sharing program. Already, the Chicago-based nonprofit has a fleet of vehicles across the area, parked and ready for throngs of normally carless commuters in need of wheels.

But the agency's peer-to-peer pilot program, made possible by a $715,000 federal grant, asks private car owners to add their vehicle's to I-GO's fleet, thereby making them available to a pool of car-seeking customers. I-GO would handle the administration of the transaction.

"We’d be putting our technology in their vehicles, [the vehicles] would be in our system and [the car owner] would have the option to be in our open system or part of a more closed network," said spokeswoman Michelle Thoma.

Thoma said the concept is in the very early stages, at least for I-GO, which just announced the grant funding from the Federal Highway Administration's Value Pricing Pilot Program on Aug. 3. The nonprofit is just beginning to explore a litany of issues, like insurance coverage and implementation of the program.

The pilot program will be carried out under a partnership with the Illinois Department of Transportation and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Urban Transportation Center.

In Oak Park, I-GO makes already its cars available in at least four locations:

  • South Oak Park Business District at 828 S. Euclid Ave.
  • Holley Court Garage at 1125 W. Ontario St.
  • Avenue Garage at 720 North Blvd.
  • , 123 Madison St.

But village officials say discussions to bring the new peer-to-peer sharing program to the village are "on the table."

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