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CTA I-Go smart card earns Chicago Fast Cities nod

The I-Go and CTA smart card partnership was given a big thumbs up this month by Fast Company magazine as "almost too simple":

The Smart Card is Chicago-based nonprofit I-Go Car Sharing's idea to extend public transportation to include public cars. According to a recent study, most cars in Chicago -- Fast Company's 2008 City of the Year -- sit parked 95% of the time. "We have to make better use of our assets," says I-Go CEO Sharon Feigon. "We want to integrate the public-transit systems and car sharing any way we can, and sharing one card is a good way to demonstrate that these different ideas are linked."

Meanwhile, the CTA also is expanding its partnership with Zipcar, an I-Go competitor. It is adding cars to four more CTA locations -- one on the Brown Line and three on the Blue Line. Details here.

This is good public policy, and great for the environment.

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Comments

I've belonged to ZipCar for some time now and have been carless for longer. It really is great for the times I do need a car or CTA just isn't a good option.

I'm curious why they haven't made a CTA/ZipCar card available, just the I-Go.

Perhaps it's because I-Go is a local non-profit and zipcar is a national for-profit company. I was a little surprised when zipcar began advertising on CTA vehicles since I-Go is in competition with zipcar and CTA spent roughly $50,000 lauching their I-Go partnership.

I don't see why one being not profit, the other being profit has anything to do with partnerships...

I think both services benefit the CTA in the sense that they enable people to not own cars, thus using public transportation more.

I also don't see why they wouldn't accept ZipCar advertisements. They don't have a financial stake in either of them. It's not like they are running ads for a competing bus/rail service.

The sign-up for email notification website seems to be down. You can create an account but not sign in. Also- will this service include text message alerts?

I thought the same thing yesterday when I tried to sign in. You have to click on the OK button, not just hit return (my preferred method since I'm always in such a damned hurry!). The only way you know you're in is that it says Welcome [name and username] and then has Main, My Account, My Alerts, Sign Out tabs. It's at the very top and isn't obvious at first.

Hi,

Your link is wrong for the Fast Company article. It should read http://www.fastcompany.com/... instead of http://www.ctatattler.com/...
Just letting you know.

Doh! Thanks for letting me know LaLuce. Now fixed.

I think it has more to do with I-Go being local than being non-profit. The head of I-Go has been working with the CTA on various things for a long time. I-Go tries to park its cars as near a transit line as they can get them.

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