CHICAGO, June 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- car2go, the world's largest and fastest-growing free-float carsharing service, is bringing its pioneering mobility offering to Chicago. Beginning July 25, car2go will introduce Chicagoans to a new form of carsharing through its on-demand, "free-floating" network of 400 affordable, eco-friendly vehicles. Registration for membership opens today at www.car2go.com/US/en/chicago.
car2go's innovative free-floating carshare model differs from other carsharing services currently operating in Chicago in that Chicagoans will be able to make one-way trips without having to pick up or return car2go vehicles at fixed locations or by a certain time. Members have instantaneous access to a fleet of several hundred shared vehicles and can conveniently end their trip in any approved space within car2go's Home Area, including residential permit areas and car2go designated parking spaces.
"Chicago is a global leader in transportation innovation and this new pilot program will help us stay at the forefront while supporting our commitment to providing safe and reliable ways to get around Chicago," Mayor Emanuel said. "I look forward to seeing this program succeed and scale up to reach neighborhoods across Chicago."
Chicagoans will be joining over three million car2go members in 23 other cities around the world enjoying the many benefits of access to shared vehicles without the increasing hassles and expense of city car ownership. Recent research also proves that car2go's free-floating model helps mitigate traffic congestion, reduces air pollution and integrates with other transit and sustainable transportation options, thereby helping cities move more people, more efficiently.
"The introduction of car2go in Chicago is an exciting moment in the evolution of our city's transportation ecosystem, promoting lifestyles that no longer require private car ownership and providing new momentum to our expanding sharing economy," said Dr. Joseph P. Schwieterman, Director and Professor for the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development at DePaul University. "One of the most significant benefits of free-floating carshare is the reduction in the number of cars – upwards of 11 privately owned vehicles per car2go – that currently clog our Chicago neighborhoods."
"Chicago is ideally suited for car2go, with the city fully embracing free-float carsharing as a way to enhance its mobility ecosystem by providing its citizens – including the 800,000-plus Chicagoans who don't own a vehicle – with a brand new mobility option," said Paul DeLong, CEO of car2go NA. "Ultimately, our service is designed to complement public transit, and has been proven to bring numerous economic and environmental benefits to the cities in which we operate all over the world. In fact, our members consistently report spending less time and money driving. Our mission in Chicago is simple: to provide a transportation option that improves the lives of Chicagoans."
"CDOT is committed to supporting a robust transportation network that provides good, accessible and affordable transportation and transit options in a variety of modes for all Chicagoans. We're pleased that car2go has stepped forward to undertake this pilot project through which we will be able to assess the operational impacts and demand for this service," Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. "We also applaud car2go for their strong commitment to the Vision Zero traffic safety effort and making our streets safer for all users."
A NEW WAY TO GET AROUND CHICAGO
- car2go members can view, reserve and access car2go vehicles via car2go's award-winning mobile app, which is available on iPhone and Android smartphone devices.
- Chicagoans can register today for free by using the code CHI2018. They'll also receive $15 in car2go credit. Offer valid through August 23 after which car2go members only pay a standard one-time $5 sign up cost, in addition to their use of the a car2go vehicle – whether that be by the minute or by using the Trip Package that works best for them.
- Fuel, parking, insurance, and maintenance are all included.
- No monthly or annual fees.
- When members are finished using a vehicle, they may park at any approved parking space within the car2go Home Area. This includes on-street residential permit parking and designated car2go parking spaces. The borders of the Home Area are clearly identified in the car2go app.
- car2go's current Home Area includes 29 square miles, extending from Cermak north to Foster, and from Kimball and Homan eastward to portions of Lake Michigan.
- car2go will participate in the city's free-float carshare pilot beginning with 400 eco-friendly smart fortwos and Mercedes-Benz CLA and GLA vehicles.
- car2go is the first carsharing service in the U.S. to actively support Vision Zero by providing its members free online road safety courses by the National Safety Council. Through December 31, car2go is rewarding all U.S. members – including those now in Chicago – with $15 in car2go credit who complete the Distracted Driving course. An additional four modules are also available for members to take to improve their road safety education.
- For more information, or to register to become a car2go member, please visit www.car2go.com/US/en/chicago. Make sure to follow @car2goChicago on Twitter, @car2go on Instagram, and on facebook.com/car2go.
In 2017, car2go grew its global customer base by 30 percent to 2.9 million members, and today the service boasts 3.3 million members worldwide. car2go members rented car2go vehicles 24 million times in 2017. Every 1.2 seconds, a car2go member takes a trip in a car2go vehicle.
In March, 2018 Daimler AG – car2go's parent company – and BMW Group agreed to combine their mobility services to form a new joint-venture mobility powerhouse offering seamless access to on-demand mobility services including free-float carsharing; ride-hailing; parking; electric vehicle charging; and multi-modal trip services. Today, car2go and BMW DriveNow/ReachNow operate a total of 20,000 vehicles in 31 major international cities and have a built-in customer base of over four million customers combined. Competition authorities are currently reviewing the proposed joint venture.
According to an August, 2016 carsharing report1 by Frost & Sullivan, the global carsharing market is expected to grow from 7.9 million people in 2015 to over 36 million people by 2025.
About car2go N.A. LLC
car2go N.A., LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, offers an innovative mobility solution in rapidly growing urban areas via a carsharing network of affordable, eco-friendly Mercedes-Benz and smart vehicles. A flexible and "on demand" mode of transportation, car2go complements existing public transportation by bridging the gaps between the "first and last mile" of a member's commute. car2go members use a free, downloadable app on their smartphone to find, reserve, take and end trips in car2go vehicles.
Fast Company named car2go one of the most innovative transportation companies of 2018. TIME Magazine ranked the car2go app #5 on its "Top 10 Apps of 2017" list. Today, car2go's global operation is the largest, fastest-growing carsharing program in the world with more than three million registered members and a fleet of nearly 14,400 vehicles in 24 locations in North America, Europe and Asia. Further information on car2go is available at car2go.com and car2go.com/NA/en/press/.
1 "Future of Carsharing Market to 2025", published August, 2016 by Frost & Sullivan